Thursday, December 30, 2010

This Just In

Emergency Board Meeting


This is notice that the Lee County Board of Education will hold an emergency meeting regarding a student disciplinary issue on Friday, December 31, 2010, at 9 a.m. The meeting will be held in the Heins Education Building, 106 Gordon Street, Sanford.

Please use the back entrance of the building and take the elevator to the Basement. The meeting will be held in the Assembly Room which is directly across from the elevator.

Well, well.

Update December 31st, 2010

The school board held their emergency meeting at the school gymnasium, and their first order of business was to move to hold their meeting in private. This they did, and then came out and announced that they had "followed the guidelines" and done no wrong. But a television video of Ashley showed her take her lunchbag out of her rather large purse to demonstrate how her dad's paring knife came to be discovered, and it was obvious that the schools statement that the knife had been found in her purse rather than her lunchbag was another school district partial truth. The knife was in her lunchbag, and the lunch bag was in her rather large purse.

Sean Sorentino has a nice post with video interview of Ashley and a discussion of the whole matter here.

For my money, it's the school board whose actions show lack of maturity, poor judgment and contempt of the students they are charged with educating.

No Signs Of Intelligence

Following the week's theme on the abuse of power by administrators and policy maker's comes a companion story underlining the utter lack of wisdom that so often goes hand in hand with people in such positions of power.

Ashley sports the blank look of incredulity.
Ashley Smithwick, a seventeen year old high school student who had been playing on the school's soccer team and taking college level courses mistakenly took her father's lunch bag for her own.  So she ended up stuck with the liverwurst sandwich and the wrong kind of chips?  Oh no, because this school has the grown-ups of the school administration, who have the capacity to turn a mix up in lunch bags into a criminal offense.
An athletic and academic standout in Lee County said a lunchbox mix-up has cut short her senior year of high school and might hurt her college opportunities. Ashley Smithwick, 17, of Sanford, was suspended from Southern Lee High School in October after school personnel found a small paring knife in her lunchbox. Smithwick said personnel found the knife while searching the belongings of several students, possibly looking for drugs.

The lunchbox really belonged to Joe Smithwick, her father, who packs a paring knife to slice his apple. He and his daughter have matching lunchboxes.
“It’s just an honest mistake. That was supposed to be my lunch because it was a whole apple,” he said.
Yeah well, that wont get you any play with the fat headed dolts that run your daughter's school. Listen Mr. Smithwick, they have another agenda, and your daughter's future is not a part of it.
Ashley Smithwick said she had never gotten in trouble before and was surprised when the principal opened her lunchbox and found the knife.

The teen was initially given a 10-day suspension, then received notice that she was suspended the rest of the school year.
"I don’t understand why they would even begin to point the finger at me and use me as an example," she said.
Yeah, well, that's what bureaucrats do. It doesn't have to make sense. It has to do with demographics, ratios, presenting the appearance of even handedness, all very important, you know. Getting it right, that doesn't count for much.
This month, Ashley Smithwick, a soccer player who takes college-level courses, was charged with misdemeanor possession of a weapon on school grounds. She is no longer allowed to set foot on campus.
It's as asinine as charging kindergartners with sexual harassment for giving a classmate a goodbye hug.

Well, where are these administrators that have taken on the responsibility of disarming Ms. Smithwick of her father's paring knife, rid the school of this dangerous person and charged her with the crime?
Darla Cole, the chief school resource officer in Lee County, told WRAL News she could not comment on the case. Lee County Superintendent Jeff Moss told the Sanford Herald that he can’t discuss the specifics of the case, but school policy allows principals to consider the context of each case and determine discipline.

“When the principals conduct their investigations, what typically is fleshed out is the true intent,” he told the newspaper. “Bottom line is we want to ensure every child feels safe on our campus.”
Well, you've utterly failed in that regard. If this is the kind of brainless leadership we have in our schools, I wouldn't feel safe to have my daughter anywhere nearby when these clowns are driving their cars to work.

Ashley Smithwick is completing her coursework through Central Carolina Community College, but says she worries what a criminal conviction will do to her future prospects.
“When you have a criminal record no school’s going to look at you,” she said. “I have a pretty nice talent. I’m good at playing soccer and that talent is just wasted now.”
Yes, that's true. It goes a bit farther than wasting your soccer talents though.  If they can saddle you with the conviction you can forget about applying for a professional school. It's considerably harder to get a job as well.

I doubt, however, if any of those things were on the minds of administrators Darla Cole and Jeff Moss.

Update December 30th, 9:00 pm

Jeff Moss has crawled out from under his rock and offered the following explanation at the Lee County School page:

Statement from Lee County Schools Superintendent Jeff Moss Regarding Ashley Smithwick

This is in response to the media coverage of the alleged long-term suspension of Ashley Smithwick, a student at Southern Lee High School. The facts recited by the media are erroneous and without foundation.

On October 20, 2010, a faculty member at Southern Lee High School discovered a student on campus with marijuana. Based upon information obtained in the interview between school administration and the student in question, a search of several other students, including Miss Smithwick, was promptly conducted. During this search, a 3-inch paring knife was found on the person of Miss Smithwick in her purse. The knife was not found in Miss Smithwick’s lunchbox as reported by her family and the media.

Miss Smithwick has not been long-term suspended from Southern Lee High School. She is currently enrolled as a student at the school. Over two months after the event it is a mystery to us that the Smithwick’s concerns were not brought to our attention by the family through normal appeal procedures prior to going to the press.

Moss, students that are suspended are still enrolled at the school. This is the end of December. Is Ashley attending classes at your school or not? If not, than you can forget the pretense of the phrase "alleged long term suspension". Your administrator claims the paring knife was found in her purse, not in her lunchbox. Did Miss Smithwick inform the administrator that the paring knife was from her lunchbox, was her Dad's and was discovered accidentally? Did the administrator ascertain what purpose Miss Smithwick intended for the paring knife? Is the school supporting the criminal prosecution of Miss Smithwick? Does the school consider Miss Smithwick a threat to the safety of her fellow students?

Two months after the event with a criminal prosecution going forward, and it is a mystery to you that anyone would be out of sorts regarding the manner in which the school has handled this situation? How about your recent interest in revisiting the issue - another mystery?


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Constitution Again Under Assault by Rogue Obamiacs

As if on cue for our current theme here on governments abusing their power and the people they govern, the Obama Administration has stepped in it again, this time ignoring the Congress, which earlier had refused to pass the president's so called 'climate change' legislation of taxing the consumption of fuels. Yes, the state is on the move, running roughshod over the people and pushing their carbo-taxing bilge into implementation under the specious argument that 'carbon compounds' (you know, like trees, shrubs, flowers and grass) pose a risk to the environment and must be regulated by our friends at the Fed through the Environmental Protection Agency, as seen here.
After failing to get climate-change legislation through Congress, the Obama administration plans on pushing through its environmental policies through other means, and Republicans are ready to put up a fight. On Jan. 2, new carbon emissions limits will be put forward as the Environmental Protection Agency prepares regulations that would force companies to get permits to release greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
Hey, Barry, wasn't I just talking about the abuse of power and the flagrant failure to abide by the restraints that had been instituted in our government to protect the people? Yeah, right? Sheesh. It is as though this guy is completely in contempt of our nation's laws and form of representative government.
Critics say the new rules are a backdoor effort to enact the president's agenda on global warming without the support of Congress.
Yeah, and they say that for no other reason than that is exactly what it is. That and the fact that the asinine program is makes little to no sense in terms of its science, will cripple the econmomy, stiffle growth and destroy the nation's hope of recovery.
"They are job killers. Regulations, period -- any kind of regulation is a weight on economy. It requires people to comply with the law, which takes work hours and time, which reduces the profitability of firms. Therefore, they grow more slowly and you create less jobs," said environmental scientist Ken Green of the American Enterprise Institute.

Very true. Of course, we can't have a report these days without an effort to get "both sides", this time offered up by Mr. Howells of the economic think tank Greenpeace.
"I was looking at some advertisements from the 1970s where they were making the very same arguments about stopping acid rain. And that didn't turn out to be a job-killer. In fact, it created jobs in some places," said Howells, the environmental group's deputy campaign director. "The more we keep making these decades-old arguments, the more we won't be creating the jobs of the future and working towards the new energy economy."
A new energy economy, Mr. Howells? What does that look like, exactly? An economy based on windmills on the plains and solar panels in the desert? Rest assured the Greenpeace deputy campaign director has his finger on the pulse of our economy. Is that the same guy stuck on that desert isle with Giligan? "Lovee!" What a moron.
The administration says it has the power to issue the regulation...
Of course they do. And Vladimir Putin threw comrade Khodorkovsky "in jail" because "every thief should go to jail."
The administration recently circulated a memo from the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy John Holdren to the heads of all federal departments and agencies calling for "a clear prohibition on political interference in scientific processes and expanded assurances of transparency."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

- In Flanders Fields

In a far away place and a time long ago, young men put their lives in the hazard in response, the honourable response, to the needs of their nation. Many of them lost their lives one cold day. A medical officer tending the dead and dying by the name of Colonel John McCrae wrote a short poem he titled 'In Flanders Fields'. It is from this poem from which came the tradition of wearing the red poppy, the token of remembrance for the sacrifice those young men made, now nearly a hundred years past. The meaning of the tradition is largely lost upon us today. The days pass and their comrades amongst the living who survived have now grown old and left us. Yet those voices from the young men who gave up their lives so long ago still call out to us, caught in a time past, forever young.

Candian writer David Warren calls on us to remember them, we who live today, as the sacrifice they made lives on in the freedoms we hold.

"Take up our quarrel with the foe." The words, in that instance, could be taken to refer to the Germans, for they were the proximate enemy in the eastern part of the Ypres salient, where the 1st Canadian Division made its stand. And the body of McCrae's dear friend, Alexis Helmer -- the immediate inspiration for the poem -- was blown to bits by an artillery shell, not by some philosophical abstraction.

Yet the quarrel remains in every generation. So long as we live in freedom on this Earth, we must confront those who would enslave us; and when we cease, our freedom also ceases.
The struggle for freedom is a daily duty to us who live free. There is much wrong in this country when power is so readily abused by those given access to the coercive power of the state and tread over the rights of the people. It is always imperative on individuals placed in such positions of power to be cognizant of the danger to the liberty of the individual, and to constrain themselves. Such wisdom is seldom found amongst those who covet political power, and it falls upon us, the people, to vigorously demand that the freedoms of each and all of us be respected.

To coerce is the way of governments.  Though governments are necessary, they are best seen as a necessary evil.  They are never rightly seen as a necessary good, for ultimately they are always at odds with the freedom of the individual.  Sadly, this truth appears utterly lost upon those now in power that  seek to rule over the people rather than merely govern the free people that live here.

David Warren's is an excellent piece that I cannot do justice. Read the rest of it here.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Freedom Ground Under Heel of the State in the Russian Republic

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former head of Russia’s largest oil company and once Russia's richest man, has been found guilty of embezzlement.  His supporters say his real crime was daring to oppose the country’s prime minister, Vladimir Putin, elected president of the Russian Federation in 2000.

At the time of his arrest Khodorkovsky had begun to fund opposition parties, launched an anti government corruption crusade, and called for the privatization of some of the nations oil pipelines – initiatives that angered the Putin government.

Putin responded in the usual manner.  Khodorkovsky was arrested in 2003, his oil company Yukos dismantled, and Khodorkovsky himself sentenced to eight years hard labour in Siberia.

As the time for his release approached, he was charged with new crimes, including embezzling 218 millions tonnes of oil from his own company.  Quite a feat, for generally Siberia would be considered a distant location from which to pull off such machinations.  Nevertheless, a second trial against Khodorkovsky was started in March 2009, and now the Russian court has found the man to be guilty - again.

The Communist party members defended the state's actions:
"Khodorkovsky is in jail because some oligarchs should be in jail: one has to show the new rules of the game," the pro-Kremlin member of parliament Sergei Markov said.  Putin repeated this justification on Russian television on December 16. Khodorkovsky was "in jail" because "every thief should go to jail," he said, stating that his "crimes" had been "proved by the court”.
Khodorkovsky makes a noble figure. A man who hoped for the liberties and freedom that the fall of the Soviet Union offered, but was crushed under by the power wielded by a former KGB agent.
"Just look at the images of his second trial: he’s not broken, he’s dignified and stands with great elegance and courage,” said Cecile VaissiĆ©, professor at the University of Rennes and specialist on Russia’s intellectual world. "Intellectuals, well-known writers, journalists and lawyers have stood up to denounce Putin's personal vendetta."
Perhaps so, but Vladimir Putin does not appear to be moved. The former 'President' and now 'Prime Minister' of Russia has turned a dull ear to their cries.
Amid the Western chorus of protests, the former oil tycoon has also attracted the attention of US President Barack Obama. Last July he said the "bizarre" new charges against Khodorkovsky and Lebedev came "years after their imprisonment and at a time when they could have been pardoned."
Yeah, I don't think that's going to happen, Barry.
For many observers, the verdict of the trial was a foregone conclusion – and one that calls into question the credibility of Russia’s legal system.

The tendency for governments to tilt the field and distort the courts to further their own power is a great evil. Sadly, we have the same tendencies here.

Not Everything Down In Today's Economy

No, not at all. Apparently, things are booming for the arts and croissant crowd. Well, at least for the union contracted stage hands that work the large facilities of New York City, such as Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center. Columnist James Ahearn of New Jersey's Bergen Record gives us a few insights into the world of high theater:

What they do is essential but unremarkable. Turns out that it is remarkably well-paid, however. Would you believe $422,599 a year? Plus $107,445 in benefits and deferred compensation? That is what a fellow named Dennis O'Connell makes at Carnegie Hall. He is the props manager, the highest-paid stagehand. Four other guys, two of them carpenters, two electricians, are paid somewhat lesser amounts, ranging down to $327,257, plus $76,459 in benefits and deferred compensation, for the junior member of the team, John Goodson, an electrician.
It's a living.
The Carnegie stagehands' pay was something else again, but not, as it turns out, unique. At Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, the average stagehand salary and benefits package is $290,000 a year.
Adjusting lights and moving chairs, and the guy is pulling down 300K? You would think an open, competitive market might allow for such work to be accomplished at a lower cost, but that's what good help costs these days.  Well, actually, that's the cost of the help, whether they're good or not.

And what do we owe our thanks to? Local 1 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. They also have requirements for minimum number of workers for any given job.  It matters not whether they are needed.  Also the benefits package that comes with these duties is valued on average at 75K a year.

Fair wages for an honest day's labor? I think the curtain has come down on that one.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Measured and Found Wanting

U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson struck down the government's effort to require every citizen to purchase health insurance. The judge advanced the opinion that if people did not wish to buy somethng, it was no place for the government to compel them to buy it. The decision came in the case Commonwealth of Virginia v. Sebelius, 10-cv- 00188, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond).
The Obama administration’s requirement that most citizens maintain minimum health coverage as part of a broad overhaul of the industry is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled, striking down the linchpin of the plan.

U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson said today that the requirement in President Barack Obama’s health-care legislation goes beyond Congress’s powers to regulate interstate commerce.

Hudson found the minimum essential coverage provision of the act “exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power.”
Of course it does.
The ruling is the government’s first loss in a series of challenges to the law mounted in federal courts in Virginia, Michigan and Florida, where 20 states have joined an effort to have the statute thrown out.

“I am gratified we prevailed,” Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said in a statement. “This won’t be the final round, as this will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, but today is a critical milestone in the protection of the Constitution.”
Such decisions should be based on the law. Unfortunately, liberal judges do not feel that is the case, and thus the case ends up getting reported as liberal versus conservative judge. That is not useful to the discussion, as to take that view one assumes that the law is all in the eye of the beholder. Such is the way of things in corrupt states, whose governments are not constrained by the law.

 We should point higher for our government and courts.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Warren on the Wickedness of Treachery

"Can there be such a thing as treason?" is a question posed by David Warren in an interesting piece titled Wikid. It seems the notions of loyalty have been badly blurred by our multicultural society, to the point where it is not clear in the minds of the people whether or not they owe any loyalty to anything.
"The total hypocrisy of the [New York] Times has been exposed by several of my right-wing colleagues, who have juxtaposed the paper's various self-justifications. The Times smugly refused, for instance, to print or link any "Climategate" revelations of a global warming scam, because "the documents appear to have been acquired illegally," and "were never intended for the public eye." But when an opportunity arises to publish potentially devastating state secrets, they do so without hesitation "in the public interest." And the smugness is the same."
"And the smugness is the same." I love that.

There is a question of whether or not our government itself as administered by the current democrat administration is not treasonous on several levels, as is illustrated in its rather soft response to Julian Assange. Read the whole thing here

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Movie Club

We are starting a new season here at the Movie Club. Late winter, early Spring is a great time for the movies, with the cold, rain and early fall of night, yet with the occasional glimpse of blue sky there is the promise of warmer, longer, more pleasant days ahead. Meanwhile, what better time to slip inside the warm dark interior of the movie house, where we can go anywhere and be anything. It's great fun!

Movie Club is an open forum discussion of movies that one or another of us have enjoyed. You can add comments to the threads at any time. Comments can focus on the story of the show, or the acting, or the production itself.

You can request shows as long as you have seen it and enjoyed it, and think it would be something that others might also enjoy.

Come join us for a show!

Now Playing: Pride and Prejudice

It's A Wonderful Life

While You Were Sleeping

The Family Man

A Christmas Story

The Apartment

Dr. Zhivago


Wait Until Dark

Breakfast at Tiffany's

North by Northwest


The Big Country

Here Comes Mr. Jordan

Cupid and Cate



Out of the Past

To Have And Have Not


Bagdad Cafe

Dirty Dancing

The Magnificent Ambersons

The Horse Soldiers

Shanghai Noon

You Gotta Stay Happy

Ben Hur

Enchanted April

Field of Dreams

Roman Holiday

The Best Years Of Our Lives

And Then There Were None

Witness for the Prosecution

I Know Where I'm Going! (Reprise)

Meet Joe Black

The 39 Steps

The Graduate

Love Actually

The Family Stone

Charlie Brown Christmas

The Bishop's Wife

Desk Set

Holiday Affair

A Matter Of Life and Death

Cold Comfort Farm

Far From The Madding Crowd

Zero Effect

The African Queen


The Searchers

My Man Godfrey

Dear Frankie

Children of Men

Midnight Run


Imagine Me and You

Local Hero

Lawrence of Arabia

My Favorite Year

A River Runs Through It



His Girl Firday


Wuthering Heights

Walk The Line

The Philidelphia Story

Jane Eyre

It Happened One Night


The Thin Man

The Quiet Man

I Know Where I'm Going!

You Can't Take It With You

The Razor's Edge

Splendor In The Grass

'A Charlie Brown Christmas' Open Thread

 What did you think?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sherwood Bowmen Win State Title

Steven Long stretches the contain of the Marist defense
The Sherwood High School Bowmen completed their first perfect season by defeating previously unbeaten Marist of Eugene in the 5A State Championship game. It is the first title for the Bowmen, who have been one of the premier teams in the 5A ranks a number of years. Head Coach Greg Lawrence stated he was very proud of his team and the manner in which they overcame adversity.

The team went down 3-0 in the first quarter on a Marist field goal, but then drove for successive scores to go up 16-3 at the half.  In the second half things went a little caucau as Marist maintained long drives off the legs and arm of quarterback Logan Silver.

"We always tell them, 'It's just a game. You can't be perfect.' And then the tongue in cheek with that is that you can always give the perfect effort.  The kids played with a lot of spirit, and that's what will carry them through everything in life."

Well said. We here in Sherwood are privileged to have such a fine group of coaches mentoring our young men. Greg "The Law" Lawrence is a good one.

Sherwood gained all their yardage on the ground, running 56 plays, 53 of which were runs that producing 378 total yards of offense. Michael Balfour did yeoman work, both from his linebacker position and in running the football. His 19 carries for 75 yards were of the smash mouth variety, and his intensity and determination, along with defensive teammates Trent Duppenthaler and Tanner Balderree, were key to holding the team together when they were under severe duress. The attention he generated from the Marist defenders helped spring Steven Long, who quietly piled up 217 yards and two touchdowns to lead Sherwood ball carriers.

It is an honor to be chosen to officiate the State Championship game, and the crew is to represent the state's finest.  Referee Gary Johnson and his team of Umpire Cliff Filley, Linesmen Bob Ferguson, line judge Dwayne Johnson and back judge Greg Randall did little in the second half to give one the impression that was the case here.  I rarely comment on officiating, but this crew's combination of non-calls and thin calls had the normally penalty free Bowmen on the wrong end of an 18 to 10 disparity in penalties called, and on the negative side of an over one hundred yards difference in yards against.  A number of calls were drive sustaining for Marist, and had the Bowmen scratching their heads as Marist scored a tying touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter.

Curiously, there was only one player running the ball for Marist. That would be quarterback Logan Silver. Despite the defense essentially knowing only one player had to be contained, Silver still managed to gain a game-high 265 yards and two scores on 43 carries for the Spartans. No other player carried the football for Marist. At all.

That's a hard scheme to get away with without the help of the little jersey holds and two handed blocks in the back which are commonplace in modern football among linemen, and now recievers. Still officially against the rules, they were certainly plentiful and easy enough to spot.

Insult was added to injury when on the kickoff following the tying touchdown Steven Long was driven out of bounds and then thrown to the ground four yards off the field and in the midst of the Bowman bench. The personal foul apparently did not rise to the level to warrant sanction in the eyes of the officiating crew, but they nevertheless managed to take umbrage at the tone of disappointment emanating from Long's nearby teammates. This then was found to be cause enough for penalty, of the 15 yard variety, for conduct unbecoming young gentlemen. Thus, late in the game and with the score tied, Sherwood was pinned back on their own 14 yard line.

Undeterred, the Bowmen rallied,  putting together a long drive with the power running game that has been their trademark.  It ended with a series of three successive runs by Balfour, powering the Bowmen down to the Marist 9 yard line.  A fourth carry had this observer watching Balfour push his way into a large pile in the middle of the Marist defense, while unbeknownst to myself and most of the Marist defenders Long flashed to the outside, football tucked under his arm, in a sprint to the corner pylon for what appeared to be the game winning touchdown.  Three minutes left, however, proved to be two minutes thirty seconds too many, as Silver managed to tie the game up with 25 seconds remaining, sending us all into overtime.

Marist had the ball first in the overtime period and drove to the Sherwood three before Silver ran smack into Duppenthaler, whose helmut separated Silver from the ball and ended the Marist scoring threat.  Sherwood then took the ball from the 25 and drove to the Marist 8 yard line before grinding to a halt.  On fourth down Coach Lawrence called on Taylor Bonawitz to attempt a 25-yard field goal, which sailed through center of the uprights to lift Sherwood to a 26-23 win, and their first OSAA Class 5A State Football Championship.

Good looking Sherwood kids enjoy the moment.
"We knew we had the kids and a lot went on in that game -- a lot of ups and downs. We overcame a lot of adversity throughout that game and the kids sucked it up."

It was a great win, for this year's team, and for the many teams that have come before them who established the traditions of Sherwood's football program. Personally, I tip my hat to the young men for how they managed to persevere and continue to push, despite all things standing in their way.

Congratulations to Greg Lawrence and the Bowmen football program!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Venerable Bede

Every now and again I am fortunate enough to come across a blog that is both interesting to read and good fun at the same time. After all, that is what we are after here. Well, in this case it came knocking, by way of adding itself onto What the..?'s followers list. What a pleasure then to bump into the Venerable Bede, who appears to hail from England, and announces without equivocation, the following:
"I dislike popular culture, moral cowardice, Fascism, hypocrisy and car showrooms."
Well, I most heartily agree with him on those sentiments, and I like a man that is upfront like that.

In his most recent effort he took to task the bruhaha over free speech, specifically as it ties in to the Islamic community in England. As a recent great post by blog fav Coco Rico touched on a related subject, it seemed like a good time to drop in on the Venerable Bede.  He was found to be commenting on the apparent spray painting of a Koranic verse passage number on the front doors of a mosque.  The passage referenced instructs Muslims not to befriend Jews and Christians.

"This is apparently the fourth time that the vandals have sprayed references to passages from the Koran urging the slaughter and subjugation of non-Muslims on the exterior of the building. The Mosque's president says the quotes to which they refer are being taken 'out of context'."
The Venerable Bede
to which the Venerable Bede opines:
"So here's the problem. Leaving aside for the moment the obvious criminality of illegal graffiti per se - which is obviously not what is causing such consternation here - can the simple, un-annotated citing of passages from a book that a religion believes to be the sacred word of God somehow constitute hate speech against that same religion?  A tough one to call."
That's good stuff. Read the rest here, and bravo Mr. Bede!

Friday, December 3, 2010

'The Bishop's Wife' Open Thread

Loretta Young early in her career.

   What did you think?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb Sound Off

The president's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, headed by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson have sounded off:
The plan calls for sweeping tax changes that would affect millions of Americans, including trimming or doing away with many popular tax breaks such as the home mortgage deduction.
Although prospects for the plan are unclear, the attention it has received has helped awaken the nation to the depth of the economic hole the country is in and the need for bold action to dig out, suggested Bowles.

"The American people get it now. People want this to happen," Bowles said.
Nope. The American people are well aware of the problem Mr. Bowles, as any attention at all to the nation's politics would have told you. Do you not recall the Tea Party movement? It wasn't about tea, Mr. Bowles, and your commission did not bring attention to runaway Federal spending. The response of the American people was to throw out the Democrates from control of the congress, and if they could they would have thrown out Obama as well.
While the deficit commission grappled with longer-term economic woes, congressional Democrats and Republicans worked separately to strike a deal with the White House on a more immediate financial issue: extending Bush-era tax cuts that expire Dec. 31. And despite talk of finding common ground, neither side seemed willing to yield much as negotiations began with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Budget Director Jacob Lew.
Raising taxes when the nation is struggling will not help the recovery. Tell Timmy Geithner that keeping tax rates as they are will not cost the government anything. He can work out why on his own. It is stability that we need, and the longer those bozos are clowning around and mucking up the future the longer we all will suffer for it.
Both Democrats and Republicans seem willing to extend most of the tax cuts. But Democrats want to let cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire, citing damage to the federal deficit from lost revenue as a main argument.
What a bunch of thick headed dolts. We do not have a taxation problem, congressional Democrats, we have a SPENDING PROBLEM.

You guys are the big spenders, huge spenders, biggest the world has ever seen.  As Mark Steyn points out, you not only have outspent the nation's economy, you've outspent the world's economy.  We're sick of it!

You and the White House need to get that through your thick skulls.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

'Desk Set' Open Thread

What did you think?

Obama Pulls Out A Mickey

The President's sincere concern is sincerely appreciated.
President Obama proposed freezing Federal worker's pay for the next two years, in a display of 'serious intent' to address the massive Federal debt that he has buried the nation in.
"Small businesses and families are tightening their belts," Obama said in brief remarks at the White House. "The government should, too."
You kinda wished he had thought of that two years ago before he started on these multiple TARPs and bailouts and billion dollar road projects, shovel ready or not.
John Gage, president of the 600,000-member American Federation of Government Employees, called the decision "a slap at working people. ... To symbolically hit at federal employees I think is just wrong."
Well, its a good start though.
"We're going to do everything we can to make this not happen and to explore all our options," said Colleen Kelley head of the 150,000-member National Treasury Employees Union.
And I am sure the President is counting on you, Colleen. Truth is, this comes out just before Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb announce their recommendations for deficit reductions, which are sure to have raising taxes on the beleaguered American economy as a central theme.

The president is counting on the fact in presenting himself as concerned about the deficit we will forget the billions upon billions of dollars that he has spent.

Don't count on it, Barry.  It's kind of hard to get excited about a guy talking about the importance of the Fire Department when he is standing there with a box of matches in his hand.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

'Holiday Affair' Open Thread

What did you think?

Mohamed Mohamud Fails to get his Christmas Wish

"Ho, Ho, Ho, the bomb didn't blow!!!"
After two years of reaching out to the world, correcting the strong,  stern tone of George Bush and replacing that with the new smoothness of our current president, it appears the target audience has been unmoved.

An example of the impotence (or perhaps impudence) of Barrack Obama's outreach efforts popped up right here in the Rose City. One Mohamed Mohamud was taken into custody just minutes after pushing the electronic triggering device that he thought would ignite a van filled with explosives, intending to kill, maim and injure thousands of people he didn't even know. In fact, that was the beauty of it, or so Mohamud thought.
"I want whoever is attending that event to leave either dead or injured"

That's a nice sentiment. And he told this to an undercover FBI agent who had just warned him that his little bomb experiment would kill a great many children.

His goal:
A "huge mass ... attacked in their own element with their families celebrating the holidays."

Yes, their families about them bringing in the Christmas season, while Mohamed hides, hoping to kill and maim as many kids as he could.

The FBI's arresting officers captured Mohamud at the Portland Train Station, which he had calculated would be a safe enough distance away to detonate the explosive charges while avoiding any risk to himself. Shouting, kicking and screaming at the FBI agents, a distraught and disheartened Mohamud had this one message for Mr. Obama:
"Allah Akbar!!"
Meanwhile, his former neighbors were in shock:
“I’m in shock,” said Stephanie Napier, who lived across the street from the family until they moved away about a year ago. “They are good, good people.”
Yes, well personally, I do not find myself to be in shock. I am not shocked in the least. What I find shocking is that anyone could be surprised.

"What's that you say, that Islamic neighbor of mine, the Somali, what's his name.  It kind of had a rhyme to it.  Oh yes, Mohamed Mohamud.  He tried to blow up a bomb at Pioneer Courthouse Square.  Unbelievable!"

It is a particularly stubborn form of stupidity we have cultivated here.
“He made a bad choice,” Napier said. “But don’t racially profile the family. Who would have thought that he would have done this?”
Is filling five 55 gallon drums with explosives, placing them in the back of a van and parking the van at a public park intending to blow it up at a Christmas Tree lighting what we call these days a bad choice?

Who indeed?