Friday, October 27, 2006

13 Reasons To Vote GOP

Columnist Mona Charen gives us 13 Reasons To Vote Republican on November 7th. Among them: the fantastic American economy, courtesy of President Bush's tax cuts; the fact that the U.S. haven't been hit by another terrorist attack since 9/11; and Libya has given up its nuclear ambitions.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Eight Years In The Life

For eight years this man snapped daily self-portraits, and combined them into a time-lapse video.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Few Random Links - Sunday Afternoon Edition

GRIN - Great Images In NASA Libraries
Nice database of images from throughout NASA history.

Stick Figures In Peril
Photos of warning signs showing stick figures in dangerous, often life-threatening, situations.

Absurdly Cool Freebie Finder
Just what it says, a directory of free stuff available through the Web.

Flip This Lawsuit
For fans of the Trademark properties crew from the TV show "Flip This House".

Google Sightseeing
See the world through the eyes of Google Earth.

Friday, October 20, 2006

CNN Sniper Video

CNN is showing a video of insurgent snipers in Iraq targeting and shooting an American soldier. They say it's important and newsworthy. Politically-motivated is more like it. I wonder... would CNN be so quick to show this video if the sniper was targeting a reporter?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Politics And Love

Donald McConnell is the dean of the Trinity International University's Trinity Law School, as well as a fellow blogger. His post today, "Politics and Love", discusses how we can act out of love, yet appear unloving. It's a great read for everyone. An excerpt...

A good parent cannot always give in to the felt needs of their children. Bad behavior must be disciplined so that the children will grow up to be virtuous and happy adults. Budgets must be kept so that real present and future needs can be met. Difficult priorities must be set. Children may think good parents are unloving when they discipline them and when they say “no.” But the children of lax parents know deep in their heart that they are really unloved – because their parents care more about impressions and convenience than reality. Wishful thinking and appeasement are not good for families or nations.

So we speak the truth in love – even when it makes some people think we are unloving. Real love, as ethicist Lewis Smedes said, is wishing the other well and acting reasonably upon that wish. Real love is not wanting to be loved and doing whatever you think people think they want to win their love – no matter how damaging or unaffordable.

Is There A Deputy Named Barney?

In the Platteville, Wisconsin race for sheriff, one of the candidates has legally changed his name to Andy Griffith. If his opponents would change their names to Claude Akins and James Arness, this thing might get interesting.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Passing Students Who Fail Promotion Test

The State of Georgia requires 3rd, 5th and 8th grade students to take the CRCT, or Criterion-Referenced Competency Test. They are supposed to pass this test, showing whether or not they are working at their grade level, before being promoted to the next grade. Those who fail can take the test again. There is a waiver available to students who, at the principal's discretion, are performing well in class but fall just short of passing the CRCT. Sounds fair to me. Certainly no single test should determine if a student is prepared to advance. That being said...

Here in Bibb County, nearly 1,100 students in those three grade levels in Spring 2006 failed the CRCT and the retest. Of those, only 71 were held back. More than 93% who failed were passed on to the next grade.

None of the 432 eighth-grade students who failed were held back. Not a single one.

Is it possible that every single eighth-grade student who failed the test were actually working at or above grade level? The odds on that must be astronomical. Or is it more likely that the principals chose to simply overlook the CRCT scores and socially promote nearly every one of these students?

Back From Vacation

We had a fantastic trip to Charleston, South Carolina. I can't wait to go back again. Coming home from a fun vacation is always hard, but getting back in the swing of things at work is so much worse. Spending the last nine days (mostly) away from any and all things news-related was also sweet.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Just Got Back, And Gone Again

The wife and I are going on a short little trip out of state, so posting will be sparse between now and the middle of next week.

NBC Desecularizes "Veggie Tales"

The media-enthralled side of me found this story interesting. The popular "Veggie Tales" animated Christian children's series has recently been added to the NBC Saturday morning lineup. The creators knew that some Christianity-specific lines might have to be changed. According to this interview with Phil Vischer, one of the co-creators, they never anticipated the amount of change that would be necessary. Apparently NBC never realized the show had a religious basis. You might think the creators would be upset by NBC's desire to change the shows, but I really like Vischer's attitude about it all...

I’m baffled when we Christians are shocked that the world is acting worldly. I wasn’t surprised at all. I’m hoping the reaction doesn’t turn into a letter-writing campaign to make a big stinky fit. It’s NBC. What did you expect them to do? Jesus warned us that we will not be popular.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Cops Gets DUI In Police Car

A police officer from Tifton, GA was arrested for driving under the influence in his own patrol car.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Good Old Fashioned Closed-Minded Thinking

A Gwinnett County, GA woman is again pushing to have the Harry Potter books removed from school libraries. It's mostly the same old prattle: they promote witchcraft, blur the line between reality and fantasy, etc. But there's a new twist this time around. She's claiming they create the right culture and conditions to lead to school shootings. Geez...

DDT Making A Comeback

DDT, the most effective pesticide ever developed for fighting mosquitoes, is making a comeback in the Third World. John Stossel details the hysteria that let to the banning, and the rebirth, of a pesticide the World Health Organization now says "presents no health risk when used properly."

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Record Day For The Dow

Further evidence of the strength of the U.S. economy, the Dow today topped its all-time high trading value and closed at a record high of 11,727.34, up 56.99 points.

What Did Dems Know, And When?

This editorial from Yahoo News asks the same questions lots of folks are asking. Some excerpts: didn't take long at all after Foley's resignation for the Democrats to call for an investigation of the entire Republican leadership in the House, charging that GOP stalwarts knew early on that Foley, as they like to say in the rehab business, had a "problem."

Democrats have begun losing their once-significant lead in the polls, and a mere five weeks before the midterm elections. Is this scandal the Democrats' own "October Surprise," meant to throw the GOP into a tailspin shortly before the vote?

Despite this, the immediate take by Democrats and much of the mainstream media was that this was a classic example of Republican hypocrisy -- talking "morals" and "values" while all the time shielding a child predator. But it was nothing of the kind.

If anything, the episode reveals the Democrats' hypocrisy about their own behavior. The fact that Foley resigned virtually within minutes of being told that ABC News had copies of his salacious e-mails and text messages indicates he at least felt shame for his actions. Can the same be said for Democrats?

Sadly, it doesn't seem so. How else can you explain the following?

In 1983, then-Democratic Rep. Gerry Studds of Massachusetts was caught in a similar situation. In his case, Studds had sex with a male teenage page -- something Foley hasn't been charged with. Did Studds express contrition? Resign? Quite the contrary. He rejected Congress' censure of him and continued to represent his district until his retirement in 1996.

In 1989, Rep. Barney Frank, also of Massachusetts, admitted he'd lived with Steve Gobie, a male prostitute who ran a gay sex-for-hire ring out of Frank's apartment. Frank, it was later discovered, used his position to fix 33 parking tickets for Gobie. What happened to Frank? The House voted 408-18 to reprimand him -- a slap on the wrist. Today he's an honored Democratic member of Congress, much in demand as a speaker and "conscience of the party."

In 2001, President Clinton, who had his own intern problem, commuted the prison sentence of Illinois Rep. Mel Reynolds, who had sex with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer and pressured her to lie about it. (Reynolds also was convicted of campaign spending violations.)

You get the idea. Democrats not only seem OK with the kind of behavior for which Foley is charged, but also they protect and excuse it. Only when it's a Republican do they proclaim themselves shocked -- shocked! -- when it comes to light.

We have a lot more questions about this whole affair. The timing of the revelations, as we noted, couldn't be more propitious for the Democrats. Turns out both the Democrats and several newspapers seem to have known about Foley's problem as far back as November, according to research by several enterprising blogs.

Why didn't they come forward then? Who dredged up these e-mails -- and why did they hold them until now? This reeks of political trickery.

Sounds like some pretty good questions.

Tasty Pork Goodness

Douglas, GA is holding their 2006 National BBQ Festival on Friday and Saturdya, November 3rd & 4th. It's a pretty big event, featuring top five 2005 Overall Cooking Teams from every sanctioning organization in the country.

Strange Turns In Foley Scandal

Mark Goley was sharing some very inappropriate emails and IM's with underage kids. We know it and he resigned because of it. Those facts are not in dispute. He's a sick person, and he deserves far worse treatment than he's probably going to get.

But, the story behind the story is getting pretty sordid. Copies of emails have been released, supposedly exchanged between Foley and one or more Congressional pages. Much like the CBS Memogate scandal, a lot of scrutiny is being put on those emails. And you know, some pretty odd things are turning up.

Wild Bill at Passionate America, and others, have noted that the emails seem to have been altered or retyped before being released. Blogger Rick Moran at Rightwing Nuthouse has looked into the web site that "broke" the story. Sounds like a concerted effort to bring Foley down. It's an interesting read. Gateway Pundit looks at someone who may have been trying to "out" Foley for some time.

I'm no conspiracy nut, but this is all very interesting.

Next Generation Airships

Last week, the Macon Telegraph had stories and pictures from the latest expedition to the undersea resting place of the USS Macon. Before it went down in 1935, it was the world's largest airship, measuring 785 feet in length.

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This morning, we see what looks to be the next generation in airships, built by Millenium Airship Inc. These futuristic looking craft will have enormous payload capabilities, and the ability to load or unload cargo anywhere, even at sea. Pretty neat...

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Monday, October 02, 2006

300,000,000 Of Us Here

The Census Bureau estimates that the population of the U.S. will top 300 million sometime around the middle of the month. This will apparently make us the #3 nation on Earth, behind China and India, in population.

Lost House Seat? Fine.

Like most people, my stomach has turned reading about the inappropriate emails and instant messages sent by Florida Rep. Mark Foley to some congressional pages. The guy is sick, plain and simple. Not because he was interested in other guys, but because he was interested in underage guys. A person's orientation is their own business. But these were kids, and this slimeball seems to have been trying to entice them. That deserves investigation.

I hate that this guy is a Republican, but he had to go. It means losing that seat in the House, but that's not important. I also hate that the Dems are going to try to make political hay out of this. But you know what, if the GOP leadership knew ANYTHING about Foley's actions and did nothing to remove him... well, we deserve what we get.

A Little Something Different

This is the new (and hopefully improved) look for AWFTR. I think I'm happy with the way it's turning out. I'm feeling recharged, and ready to bring this thing back to life. Of course, the law of unintended consequences brought itself to bear during the makeover. I've lost all the visitor tracking statistics from the first two years of this blog's existance. That's not a problem, though. We're looking ahead, not behind. I think the design is more appealing to the eye. Comments and backlinks should be easier now, also.

Now, if I can just get back everyone lost during the sabatical...