The curtain has come down on A Word From The Right.
Please join me at my new blog, Of Eagles And Dawgs.
It's more general in nature, a little less political.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
Here are a few simple, totally free online places you can win cash and prizes. We've joined them, we use them. You probably won't get rich. You probably won't win fabulous prizes. But you could pick up a bit here and there.
Netwinner is a lotto style game that's absolutely free to play. You choose four numbers between 00 and 99, and one number from 0 to 9. There are compared to pre-selected numbers and, if any match, you're a winner. Obviously the more you match, the more you win. You can win cash or points.
The points accumulate and are redeemed for gift cards to stores like Target, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Barnes & Noble, Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works. It's advertiser supported, which is how they keep the cost at zero. There's also a pretty good referral system: you get points when people you refer sign up, and you receive a percentage of whatever cash and points they win. It doesn't come out of their winnings; it's in addition to them. Remember, this program has names like Target and Wal-Mart behind it. Those gift cards make great gifts for birthdays or Christmas.
Important note: After you sign up, you should immediately verify your email address. Don't worry, there's no spam. I've only received two emails from them. Just go to the "My Account" page and click on "Verify Email". This ensures that you and your referrer get the payouts you earn.
You're probably already using Google for your web searches. Now, you can get the same search results, and maybe win a little something. Blingo is a Google-based search engine. Each search is a chance to win prizes or cash instantly. These range from movie tickets and Amazon.com gift certificates to LCD TVs and cash. Invite friends to join, and if they win a prize, you win the same prize.
Winzy is a search engine that gives away free prizes when you use it to search the web. You can win iPods, gift certificates, X-Boxes and cash prizes up to $100,000. Each time you search on Winzy, you earn points. Each point is an entry into monthly prize drawings. There are also instant prizes, like Amazon.com gift certificates. They have a referrer program, also. If someone you refer wins a prize, you also win that prize. Winzy uses the search services of Ask.com.
Give these a shot and see what you think!
Posted by Michael at 3:07 PM
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Friday, May 04, 2007
In the continental U.S., with the exception of Alaska and the Louisiana swamps, the farthest distance you can find yourself from a road is 22 miles. The only place you can be that far from a road is a spot in the southeast corner of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
Posted by Michael at 9:18 PM
A teenager in Nebraska is charged with felony motor vehicle homicide for a accident that killed two of his friends who were passengers in his car. He had been driving less than a year, was on an unfamiliar road, in the dark, possibly drunk, and driving 101 miles an hour.
His lawyer sure has guts. His defense... charges should be reduced because 101 miles an hour doesn't qualify as "reckless driving".
Posted by Michael at 4:03 PM
Thursday, May 03, 2007
The Republican Presidential candidates took part in a debate tonight. Here's a transcript of the event, should you care to read it. The first portion of the debate stuck to the usual topics... the War on Terror, Iran, President Bush and his Cabinet. Later, though, it got strange. There were questions like...
What do you dislike most about America?
Do you have a plan to solve the shortage of organs donated for transplant?
If a private employer finds homosexuality immoral, should he be allowed to fire a gay worker?
Is Karl Rove your friend? Would you employ Karl Rove?
What’s with your party and all this corruption?
Do you believe in evolution?
How do you take a debate seriously with questions like this?
My favorite comment of the debate came from Rudy Giuliani...
And the reality is, in the 1990s, we were on defense in dealing with Islamic fundamentalist terrorism. When you had this debate last week and all the Democrats were up here, I never remember the words "Islamic fundamentalist terrorism" being spoken by any of them.
All in all, though, it didn't really help me out. Too many candidates, sorry moderating and questioning by Chris Matthews and the others... in some ways just a mess. At least the candidates seem more serious about this nation's defense and fighting terror than their Democratic counterparts.
Posted by Michael at 11:01 PM
Monday, April 30, 2007
The fans of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. once again have given NASCAR and the state of Alabama a black eye. Just like April 2004, the hillbilly contingent of stock car racing fans yesterday peppered the racetrack, as well as other fans and NASCAR officials, with beer cans and other debris when their favorite driver failed to win a race. Obviously NASCAR, track officials, and the fans' own favorite driver have no control over these idiots.
Obviously beer cans need to be banned at the track. Still, more needs to be done to keep other items from being thrown. As I see it, there are only two real options available to put an end to this.
First, punish their driver. When it happens, deduct championship points from the race team. Then these fools would only be hurting their favorite star. However, that's not fair to the driver. Granted, Earnhardt has never gone out of his way to condemn the practice. Last week, he encouraged his fans to throw toilet paper instead of cans. Dummy. How about saying, "If you throw anything on the track, I don't want you for a fan." Still...
The second (and best) option is to take away the track's second race. Take one of the two Talladega races and give it to as track whose fans are more respectful to the sport and all its drivers. Maybe Kansas or Las Vegas.
Posted by Michael at 2:42 PM
I found this interesting, and thought I'd pass it along. From the AP, it the average weekday circulation of the top 20 U.S. newspapers. The numbers are for the six-month period ending in March, and the change listed is from the same period a year ago.
1. USA Today, 2,278,022, up 0.2 percent
2. The Wall Street Journal, 2,062,312, up 0.6 percent
3. The New York Times, 1,120,420, down 1.9 percent
4. Los Angeles Times, 815,723, down 4.2 percent
5. New York Post, 724,748, up 7.6 percent
6. New York Daily News, 718,174, up 1.4 percent
7. The Washington Post, 699,130, down 3.5 percent
8. Chicago Tribune, 566,827, down 2.1 percent
9. Houston Chronicle, 503,114, down 2 percent
10. The Arizona Republic, 433,731, down 1.1 percent
11. Dallas Morning News, 411,919, down 14.3 percent
12. Newsday, Long Island, 398,231, down 6.9 percent
13. San Francisco Chronicle, 386,564, down 2.9 percent
14. The Boston Globe, 382,503, down 3.7 percent
15. The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., 372,629, down 6.1 percent
16. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 357,399, down 2.1 percent
17. The Philadelphia Inquirer, 352,593, up 0.6 percent
18. Star Tribune of Minneapolis-St. Paul, 345,252, down 4.9 percent
19. The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, 344,704, up 0.5 percent
20. Detroit Free Press, 329,989, down 4.7 percent
Posted by Michael at 10:40 AM
Saturday, April 28, 2007
I'm all about saving money, so I actually like the compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). I never knew about the danger and expense possible if we should break one. It seems the little energy-savers contain mercury. When one of them is dropped and breaks, that mercury is released into your room in dangerous levels. Mercury is very poisonous and, as a family from Maine discovered, the clean-up is very expensive.
Posted by Michael at 11:26 AM
Thursday, April 26, 2007
This is just disturbing. From TVSeriesFinale.com...
The A-Team: The Strangest TV Cast Reunion Yet
It's gotta be the most bizarre TV series reunion yet. The surviving cast members of NBC's blockbuster 1980s series The A-Team will reunite on a British reality show -- to try to contact their deceased leader and co-star.
That's right, Dirk Benedict, Mr. T and Dwight Schultz will appear on a special episode of Most Haunted later this year and will try to contact co-star George Peppard from beyond the grave. The A-Team went off the air in 1987 and Peppard died seven years later from pneumonia. Most Haunted presenter Yvette Fielding says, "We're all going to Los Angeles for a week to film it. It took a lot of doing to get those three together -- now we have to do the really hard part."
Perhaps the three want to contact Peppard regarding the on-again/off-again big screen adaptation of The A-Team. The film's tentatively scheduled for a 2008 release. Though no cast has been announced, Benedict, T, and Schultz will reportedly have cameo roles.
Posted by Michael at 8:23 PM
A bankruptcy court judge has not only confirmed Delta Airline's reorganization plans, but he also heaped praise on the company and its employees for Delta's turnaround. The airline plans to officially close the case and be out of bankruptcy next week. There couldn't be much better news for city of Atlanta and the folks at Hartsfield-Jackson.
Posted by Michael at 8:25 AM
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Venus Ramey was the first redhead to win the Miss America crown, way back in 1944. Now, at age 82, she's back in the news. After confronting a man she said was stealing from her Kentucky farm, Ramey pulled a gun and shot out a tire on his truck so he couldn't leave, allowing police to arrest him and two others.
She had to balance on her walking stick as she pulled out a snub-nosed .38-caliber handgun.
"I didn't even think twice. I just went and did it. If they'd even dared come close to me, they'd be 6 feet under by now."
I think I have a new hero...
Posted by Michael at 1:58 PM
Monday, April 23, 2007
In what is perhaps today's most ridiculous story... in order to save the world from itself (by way of Global Warming), singer Sheryl Crow has proposed strict limits on the use of toilet paper. On her web site, the songstress writes...
I propose a limitation be put on how many sqares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don't want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required. When presenting this idea to my younger brother, who's judgement I trust implicitly, he proposed taking it one step further. I believe his quote was, "how bout just washing the one square out."
Eewww... The cure might be worse than the disease.
Posted by Michael at 11:05 AM
Friday, April 20, 2007
Abortion is not a topic I like to discuss, and it's one I do not write about here. Period. What I will point out, though, is hypocrisy. And I have a really nice example here...
The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a law that banned a type of late-term abortion, so-called "partial birth abortions". The CNN.com story I just linked to states that Justice Samuel Alito voted to uphold the law. Alito, you might remember, replaced Sanda Day O'Conner on the bench.
In the article, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is unhappy with the Supreme's decision. He says, "A lot of us wish that Alito weren't there and O'Connor were there." I find it funny that Reid is upset that Alito voted to uphold a law that Senator Reid voted for.
Posted by Michael at 3:36 PM
Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson has proposed unprecidented legislation to overhaul Georgia's tax code. His plan would eliminate all state, county and city property taxes and all taxes on fuel, insurance premiums and estates. In their place, a 5.75% income tax and a 5.75% state sales tax. It would also eliminate the positions of county tax receivers, collectors and commissioners. The bill has several high-ranking co-sponsors and could come to the floor next year.
Posted by Michael at 8:51 AM
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I've had the opportunity the past few days to visit with fruit growers from across Georgia, to discuss the damage they've suffered from the Easter weekend freeze that hit the state. Depending on the crops, things are either pretty bad, really bad, or devastating.
It looks like the Middle Georgia peach crop could be down as much as 60 to 70% from normal. A Peach County grower I spoke with says he's only seen one year with worse freeze damage since he's run his family operation. The warm weather in the weeks leading up to Easter had the trees blooming like mad. The fruit was developing well, then the freeze hit. But he will have some peaches. Growers in North Georgia seem to have lost all their peaches, along with pretty much any other soft fruits that were developing.
The apple crop in North Georgia suffered a similar fate. Early reports from state Ag Commissioner Tommy Irvin said the crop had been wiped out. Looking at the trees in FanninGilmer Counties yesterday, there are still some trees with live blooms. There are some trees that hadn't started blooming that should still produce fruit. One of the growers I spoke with hopes to have as much as 20% of his normal production, although it may come from just a few of the 40 or so varieties he grows.
The freeze caused considerable damage to pecan trees in Middle and North Georgia. In some cases, whole orchards saw complete loss of the season's crop.
Wine grapes are a growing business in North Georgia, and a big money maker. A county agent I spoke to said the early developed vines suffered bad damage, but it will be a while before growers know how secondary growth will develop. In some vineyards, the temperature dipped as low as 19 degrees.
All in all, a lot of growers will lose a lot of money because of this late freeze. It might not be as bad as originally thought, but it will still be a very difficult year.
Posted by Michael at 2:02 PM
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
With university administrators on edge all across the country, it's no surprise that a report of a person with a suspicious object would lead to a campus lockdown. It happened today at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. As things turned out, the suspicious object turned out to be... an umbrella.
Posted by Michael at 3:10 PM
Monday, April 16, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
ABC's Terry Moran, blogging at ABCNews.com, says we shouldn't feel too upset for the three Duke lacrosse players wrongly accused of rape. But his liberal, class-envy side comes out in his writing. He uses all the right Lefty buzz-words...
As students of Duke University or other elite institutions, these young men will get on with their privileged lives. There is a very large cushion under them--the one that softens the blows of life for most of those who go to Duke or similar places, and have connections through family, friends and school to all kinds of prospects for success. They are very differently situated in life from, say, the young women of the Rutgers University women's basketball team.
And, MOST IMPORTANT, there are many, many cases of prosecutorial misconduct across our country every year. The media covers few, if any, of these cases. Most of the victims in these cases are poor or minority Americans--or both. I would hate to say the color of their skin is one reason journalists do not focus on these victims of injustices perpetrated by police and prosecutors, but I am afraid if we ask ourselves the question honestly, we would likely find that it is.
I hope we all keep him and others in mind, as we cover the celebrated exoneration of well-heeled, well-connected, well-publicized young men whose conduct, while not illegal, was not entirely admirable, either.
Privileged... these boys have led privileged lives. I suppose in Terry Moran's mind that means tough times don't affect them as badly. Because they attend Duke, they will grow to become rich and powerful, and this ordeal will be soon forgotten. Their privilege will "soften the blow". He implies that we shouldn't feel much sympathy for them because they are well-off and white, not "poor or minority". And their conduct (i.e. - the party that led to all this) was not admirable. Well heck, sounds like they were just asking for it. Apparently Moran believes that either type of conduct never takes place at less-prestigious schools, or it's more acceptable at those schools.
Oh, and I particularly like the comparison between these three men, whose lives were trashed in the media by the press and prosecutors, and the Rutgers basketball players who were... gasp!... insulted. Yeah, that's fair.
Posted by Michael at 4:31 PM
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Which Democratic presidential nominee would be most likely to end our military presence in Iraq?
Barack Obama - 27.87%
John Edwards - 24.84%
Dennis Kucinich - 17.18%
Bill Richardson - 12.26%
the Hildabeast - 10.7%
Yet another poll with numbers that reflect a pervasive national negative opinion of Hillary.
Posted by Michael at 1:24 PM
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
That's the call from AOL Sports columnist Jason Whitlock. Calling Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton the President and Vice-President of Black America, Whitlock says it's time for a change in leadership. It's a fantastic piece, and it happens to be right on target. Rather than lead, they inject themselves into situations and make themselves the focus. Then, using threats of boycotts and lawsuits, they blackmail to gain power and/or prominence. Here's a bit of Whitlock's column...
Compared to Martin and Malcolm and the freedoms and progress their leadership produced, Jesse and Al are an embarrassment.
Their job the last two decades was to show black people how to take advantage of the opportunities Martin and Malcolm won.
Have we at the level we should have? No.
Rather than inspire us to seize hard-earned opportunities, Jesse and Al have specialized in blackmailing white folks for profit and attention...
A man who doesn’t respect himself wastes his breath demanding that others respect him.
We don’t respect ourselves right now. If we did, we wouldn’t call each other the N-word. If we did, we wouldn’t let people with prison values define who we are in music and videos. If we did, we wouldn’t call black women bitches and hos and abandon them when they have our babies.
If we had the proper level of self-respect, we wouldn’t act like it’s only a crime when a white man disrespects us. We hold Imus to a higher standard than we hold ourselves. That’s a (freaking) shame.
We need leadership that is interested in fixing the culture we’ve adopted. We need leadership that makes all of us take tremendous pride in educating ourselves. We need leadership that can reach professional athletes and entertainers and get them to understand that they’re ambassadors and play an important role in defining who we are and what values our culture will embrace.
It’s time for Jesse and Al to step down. They’ve had 25 years to lead us. Other than their accountants, I’d be hard pressed to find someone who has benefited from their administration.
And in case you wondered, Jason Whitlock is an African-American.
Posted by Michael at 2:44 PM
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
This is nice to see, though it's a shame it's taken so long. Turner County High School in Ashburn, Georgia is holding their first integrated prom this month. This was also the school's first senior class to have one homecoming queen instead of seperate black and white queens. What's encouraging is that the senior class officers were behind the move. Congrats!
Posted by Michael at 8:19 AM
Monday, April 09, 2007
Dr. William Gray, for more than two decades one of the nation's preeminent hurricane forecasters, has called Al Gore "a gross alarmist" for his global warming declarations.
Richard S. Lindzen, a well-respected and widely published professor of meteorology at MIT, has an editorial in this week's Newsweek. He says there's no compelling evidence that the alleged global warming we've seen in recent years will amount to a catastrophe. He has some compelling information as well.
Posted by Michael at 9:09 AM
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
Unemployment is down again, checking in at 4.4% during March. Nearly 200,000 new jobs were created last month. And wages were up last month by 0.3%, a total increase of 4% from this time last year.
Somebody please remind me again why the Democrats think the economy is doing so poorly.
Posted by Michael at 10:46 AM
According to a new Judicial Watch - Zogby poll, 45% of likely voters are concerned there will be “high levels of corruption in the White House” if Hillary Clinton is elected President. Additionally, a total of 42% of likely voters describe Hillary Clinton as either “very corrupt” or “somewhat corrupt”, including 21.2% of the Democrats likely to vote.
Posted by Michael at 9:11 AM
Thursday, April 05, 2007
A 13 year-old girl in New York City was handcuffed and arrested in school last week. Her crime: writing on a desk. The NYPD says the arrest was the result of a request from the school's principal.
I wonder what the statute of limitations is on school desk graffiti. Goodness knows I did my fair share of that!
Posted by Michael at 9:05 PM
Aradio station promotion offering free admission to Six Flags in Atlanta this morning led to massive traffic jams and mayhem at the amusement park's gates.
From the AJC...
About 3:30 a.m., hundreds of youths rushed the fence barriers and the front gate when they thought the park was about to open. Fights erupted over tickets being passed out by park staff, they said.
"They ran us over," said [one teenager]. "We thought we were going to get trampled. We were beat up and punched for those tickets."
The crowd was so large that people were being turned away as early as 6am. No big deal, I guess. Here's where I have a problem, and it's not with Six Flags or the radio station...
Who are the main customers for Six Flags? Kids. According to news stories, kids were being dropped off by their irresponsible parents and left at the park. The kids then had no way home when turned away from the park. This AJC photo gallery even shows kids who, supposedly, were dropped off from cars on the interstate. We see pictures of the kids walking on and alongside the freeway.
Posted by Michael at 12:29 PM
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
I had a professor back at Georgia Southern who warned his students: "If you don't know the facts, don't try to dazzle me with BS" Apparently these students never got that message.
(Thanks to Confessions of a Political Junkie for the heads-up!)
Posted by Michael at 10:23 AM
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Rep. John Linder and U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), along with Ken Hoagland of Americans for Fair Taxation, will hold a news conference and rally this morning at the Freight Depot in Atlanta to announce that they have re-introduced the FairTax in both the U.S. Senate and House.
Posted by Michael at 8:15 AM
Monday, April 02, 2007
From our frozen friends to the north... the Victoria Philharmonic Choir is creating a stir with its version of Handel's Samson oratorio. The choir's version of the classic story turns the Biblical tale on its head by portraying Samson as a suicide bomber in 1946 Jerusalem.
Posted by Michael at 8:54 AM
Sunday, April 01, 2007
A year and a half after Hurricane Katrina struck, the government is going after thousands of people who filed fraudulent claims. The good news: they are getting convictions and serious jail time.
Posted by Michael at 1:56 PM
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
You might not have heard, but there's a movement underway to draft former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson to run for President in 2008. It's been formed by two prominent members of that state's Congressional delegation. From their press release...
Congressmen Zach Wamp and John J. Duncan, Jr. will serve as co-chairmen of the “Draft Fred Thompson 2008″ committee. The committee’s goal is to recruit and organize citizens from both the public and private sectors into a leadership group that will serve as a clearinghouse for Thompson supporters from across the country.
“It is becoming increasingly obvious that a growing number of Americans want Fred Thompson to join the 2008 presidential campaign,” said Wamp. “Senator Thompson’s ability to communicate an optimistic vision for America, coupled with his strong conservative credentials, makes him an ideal choice for thousands of our fellow citizens.”
Posted by Michael at 10:31 AM
This blog was created on January 29, 2004. I added a tracking code to the page to count visitors, where they're referred from, etc. If a visitor was referred by a search engine, it even tells me what that person was searching for. Incidentally, that code was reset when I redesigned this blog last October, and all my tracking numbers reset to zero.
As you might expect, the most popular search engine referrer for this blog is Google. Here's what amazes me, though. The most popular search keyword for getting here, both prior to the code resetting and since the reset, is "Zaxbys". I made one entry about Zaxby's restaurants on April 11, 2005, and it's become the most common means for people to navigate to the blog. Maybe I should just dump everything else and only write about food.
Posted by Michael at 9:06 AM
Monday, March 26, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
More than 5 million people in the United States have Alzheimer's disease and an aging population is likely to fuel a steady rise in new cases, the Alzheimer's Association said on Tuesday. The association's figure of 5 million is up about 10 percent from its previous estimate in 2000, and it said there are about 400,000 new cases a year.
Posted by Michael at 9:05 AM
Friday, March 23, 2007
Wall Street is coming off its best week in four years. The Dow closed today up 370 for the week, it's best week since March 2003. The Fed is not increasing interest rates, lessening inflation fears.
Existing home sales were up nearly 4% last month, the largest gain in that sector in nearly three years. All the doom and gloom being reported in the media recently about the crashing home market seems a bit premature. But the median price for a home in the U.S. has dropped from last year, so the market isn't setting records like it has the past few years.
In the jobs market, unemployment nationally dropped in February to 4.5%, while industry added nearly 100,000 new jobs nationwide. Unemployment in Georgia is down sharply. For February it stood at 4.4%, down from 4.7% the previous month. More than 20,000 new payroll jobs were added during the month.
Good numbers. Funny how we don't hear them touted in the press too much.
Posted by Michael at 5:42 PM
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
The thing that [Hillary] has always had going for her is that she was for the most part usually surrounded by ineffective, cretin-like men [Bill]. Compared to him it seemed natural that her victimhood was something that people could at least empathize with her on...
Hillary still has major personality disconnect from the average American. She's hot tempered, unliked, and in many ways unlikable.
Side by side with Obama she doesn't appear to be a victim.
Posted by Michael at 8:39 AM
Monday, March 19, 2007
Sunday, March 18, 2007
National Ledger columnist Daniel Clark writes that the global warming debate has led to the emasculation of modern American society. He says it all began when Al Gore asked for advice from a feminist author on how to be more of an "alpha male." Rather than teach him how to be masculine, strong and charismatic, "her solution was to dress him in earth tones, as if obsessing over his wardrobe was any way to attain guydom." The end was nigh...
Images of global destruction being more powerful than images of normalcy and stability, Gore and friends are bound to win the competition for people's emotions. Hence, they are now deterring any analysis of the issue, by calling skeptics "global warming deniers," a not very subtle comparison to neo-Nazis. If we succumb to this intimidation like a bunch of namby-pamby rice cake eaters, the debate will be lost for good.
Thus, the global warming movement seeks to repress guyhood in order to perpetuate itself. If a guy is shown a picture of a sad-looking polar bear adrift on an ice floe, his first thought will be something like, "I've heard that bear steaks are tough, but maybe if you marinated them in beer, they'd turn out all right." At that point, the alarmists' emotional ploy is foiled. In a world without guy stuff, however, his vacant mind may be invaded by irrationalities like, "Who will take care of the polar bears' children?"
Posted by Michael at 1:21 PM
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
If you've ever lived in an apartment, you've experienced noisy neighbors. Now, you can return the favor. The Revenge CD contains the soothing sounds of trains, garbage trucks, inhuman screams, telephones ringing, even roosters welcoming the morning sun. Put the CD in, crank it up, and annoy those bums in the next unit. You don't know how much I wish we'd had one of these back in college.
Posted by Michael at 5:57 PM
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Residents of southern Berkshire County are doing away with the green and
making room in their wallets for crisp, colorful BerkShares, a new regional
currency that’s being used as part of an effort to encourage local
consumerism. For about two months now, community members have been able to
use BerkShares instead of federal dollars to purchase goods and services
from nearly 200 participating businesses.
Posted by Michael at 7:58 PM
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Hillary can see everything slowly slipping away. Every day we hear from someone new announcing their endorsement of Barak Obama for the Democratic Presidential nomination. The Hollywood money seems to be going his way. All her hard work is looking more and more fruitless. What should she do to shore up her faltering support base? How can she turn the cameras back on her? How about... playing the victim card once again.
Senator Clinton has decided to let her paranoia come back out and play. She's resurrected the "vast, right-wing conspiracy" talk. I suppose she figured maybe the second time would be the charm. You do remember what happened the first time she brought that up. The so-called "vast, right-wing conspiracy"... was right.
Posted by Michael at 7:38 PM
Monday, March 12, 2007
Rep. Dennis Kucinich has weighed in on the Nevada democratic Party cancelling a Presidential debate because the primary sponsor was FOX News. It isn't often I agree with Kucinich, but he nailed this one. From his own web site...
It's an insult to the voters, and the height of cynicism, for candidates to refuse to take the public stage and subject themselves to public scrutiny...
If you want to be the President of the United States, you can’t be afraid to deal with people with whom you disagree politically. No one is further removed from Fox’s political philosophy than I am, but fear should not dictate decisions that affect hundreds of millions of Americans and billions of others around the world...
Say what you will about Dennis Kucinich, but he certainly stands up for his (often wacky) beliefs. I respect him for it. Wouldn't vote for him, but I respect him.
Posted by Michael at 8:21 AM
Friday, March 09, 2007
I missed this last week, but feel it's still worth sharing. A plan has been developed by a Georgia DOT committee that, if approved and funded, could give life to a new version of the proposed "Northern Arc". The plan also calls for a toll tunnel underneath Atlanta connecting GA 400 and I-675, as well as revitalizing Peachtree Street with streetcars and parks, and Maglev train service connecting Atlanta, Macon and Savannah. It'll be interesting to see if this plan gets anywhere.
Posted by Michael at 2:31 PM
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Sounds like it to me. One of the jurors in the Scooter Libby trial, the only one seen speaking to the media after the verdict was read, is himself a former employee of.. .the Washington Post. He's also friends with just about every journalist covering the story and, more importantly, those called as witnesses in the trial. He's a former neighbor of NBC's Tim Russert, one of the high profile journalist/witnesses. He already has a seven page (nearly 8,000 words! Tell me he wasn't working on that while sitting in that jury box) account of inside-the-jury details up at far-left leaning Huffingtonpost.com.
My first thought hearing all this... did Libby's lawyers check out any of the jurors? There is no reason this guy should have been on that jury. The trial was a sham, and this just solidifies that fact.
I love what Bryan at HotAir.com writes:
There is something deeply rotten about trying a man for misremembering things about a crime he did not commit, because it never occurred. There is something deeply rotten in a country that lets proven liars like the Wilsons walk scott free to continue to undermine a war in progress, while Libby winds up facing jail time. Their nepotistic junket to Niger and Wilson’s subsequent misreporting of that trip are a far greater crime against the country than anything Libby did. There is something deeply rotten in a country that lets Sandy Berger go, but puts Mr. Libby behind bars. This was a rotten trial with a rotten verdict. Our justice system appears to be falling apart.
Posted by Michael at 8:28 PM
Monday, March 05, 2007
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Saturday, March 03, 2007
I'm loving this... Daylight Saving Time begins next weekend, two weeks earlier than in previous years. It ends a week later, so we'll have three more weeks of later sunsets. I may be the only one, but I'd much rather have the later sunset than sunrise. By the way, did you know Benjamin Franklin first conceived the idea of Daylight Saving Time?
Posted by Michael at 3:11 PM
Friday, March 02, 2007
This morning, the trusty rain gauge in the backyard measured 4.1 inches of rain from yesterday's storms. That's by far the most rain we've had in one day since we moved in. Fortunately that was the worst of things at our house. Listening to the weatherfolks on TV, and the sheriff's department on the scanner, it sounded as though the world was ending. But nothing at the house but lots and lots of wet.
The situation was so much worse at the high school in Enterprise, Alabama that was hit by the tornado. And in Americus, where a hospital was pounded by one. And in Baker County, in southwest Georgia, where six people were killed.
Posted by Michael at 8:06 AM
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Former NBA star Tim Hardaway said during a radio interview yesterday...
"You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I'm homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States."
Yet another example of a big dumb jock. Anyone with the sense to walk upright should know not to express such views in a public forum. Especially if they're famous. You might actually feel that way, but you certainly don't vocalize it. Nothing good is ever going to come from it. Besides, it's just bigoted to hate someone because they're gay.
As Christians we're taught not to hate the sinner, but to hate the sin.
To put it another way... Don't hate the player, hate the game.
Posted by Michael at 10:13 AM
Staff members for Minnesota Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison reported to Capitol Police that Colorado Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo was smoking a cigar inside his congressional office. Only two problems... First, seems awful childish on the part of Ellison's staffer. Not the kind of publicity the first-term representative needs. Secondly, there's no rule against smoking in one's office. Oops!
Posted by Michael at 8:56 AM
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
The story is a couple of weeks old, but I just ran across it. Looks like Earthlink is working to provide Wi-Fi coverage to Atlanta, for what looks to be about $18 per month. Not too shabby...
Posted by Michael at 3:22 PM
Monday, February 12, 2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
I'd sure like to know exactly who decides which artists and albums are nominated for Grammy awards in the Country Music category. Watching tonight's award program, I'm convinced Country needs to be dropped entirely from the Grammys. Compare the list of nominees and winners to the CMA Awards list. Three hours of music, and Country was relegated to one segment. Of course, Rock - real Rock - wasn't treated much better (The Red Hot Chili Peppers didn't get to perform until after 11pm), but that's another issue.
According to the recording industry, five of the top ten selling artists in all music during 2006 were Country artists: Rascal Flatts (No. 1);
For the most part, the Dixie Chicks aren't played on Country radio anymore, and I believe they've pretty much renounced the format. No problem there, except the Grammy folks seem to want the Chicks to represent Country. Making a statement??? The Chicks winning two Country Grammys was a slap in the face to Country radio and fans.
Posted by Michael at 10:44 PM
Friday, February 09, 2007
Casey Harmeier, a 10-year-old student in Houston, Texas suburb of Tomball, was in line with classmates and a teacher was nearby when he accidentally brushed a clear plastic cover over a fire alarm. Seeing the cover was ajar, another boy dared him to pull the cover off. Casey removed the cover, triggering a very loud horn. A few hours later, police arrested the boy and he was charged with a felony for the false fire alarm. This is where the story gets interesting.
It was determined that the child did not trigger the fire alarm. The horn that had sounded simply warned that the cover was off the alarm's pull switch. The fire alarm itself was tripped later, by a school secretary trying to silence the horn. Unfortunately for the student, this determination came 51 days after his arrest. The only reason it even came to light - the boy's father is a teacher at another local school and knows how the system works. He found the mistake, but it took weeks to get the system's assistant superintendent to admit it. But no apologies from the school system. Casey still faces charges, although they have been reduced to a misdemeanor. The jury trial is set for May 15th.
Casey had been a good student, making A's and B's, and was well liked by his teachers. He'd never been in any trouble. Since his arrest, he's been put through a session where, without his parents present, he was asked whether they abused him, sexually or otherwise. From the Houston Chronicle report...
After that session he wrote a brief journal item: "I feel like a dieses. Like all I am is a viol monster of a person well at least thats wat I think. I'm always scared every time I leave my parents sight and the questions I had to answer were scary and asked if I had ever been high, drunk, or raped and it scared me."
I don't know how the school system officials (who refuse to drop charges against Casey) and the county prosecutor can sleep at night. The harm they are doing to this child in incalculable. Sure, he made a bad choice. But he is being punished for something he didn't so, something the school secretary did. In-school suspension would have been an appropriate punishment. But arrest and trial? Unbelievable. Sickening...
Posted by Michael at 3:39 PM
I stumbled across this on 18 Doughty Street, a British political site. An interesting argument that Britain's national interests are best served by remaining closely alligned to the U.S.
America Is Our Friend
1 Friendly Fire Incident
The accidental killing of Lance Corporal Matty Hull by US pilots in Iraq has once again put our relationship with the United States under scrutiny. It is understandable that in the midst of intense fighting, one does not have the time to think carefully about what they are doing and in such circumstances mistakes could be made. The US on its part was wrong for refusing to release the audio tapes of the pilots’ conversations during the friendly fire incident. However we must not join the regular band of America haters but instead remind ourselves that despite these mistakes, our relationship with America is important.
2 America Guarantees our security
America which is the world’s pre-eminent military power is a key member of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO). The aim of NATO is to ensure the collective security of its members. Article 5 of the treaty states that an attack on any member state will be treated as an attack on all member states. Thus, Britain which is also a member of NATO is assured that it will be adequately defended if it faces external threats. Further Britain and America have an agreement which ensures that the all American intelligence information is shared with their British colleagues. All these benefits would be put at risk if we chose to part ways with the United States.
3 America supports our economy
Britain’s role as an economic power is dependent on its ability to trade freely with other countries. Such trade can only take place if trade routes are secure. The United States has warships strategically located in the Gulf of Guinea . Her military presence prevents hostile countries or groups from blocking the trade routes and thus hampering trade. Britain directly benefits from this because British oil companies like Shell have off shore drilling wells in these regions and thus take advantage of the secure supply routes when transporting the oil from the wells to the international markets. It is important to note that France which is often critical of the United States also benefits from the presence of her warships.
4 The United States ensures world stability
One of the main concerns after the Second World War was how to ensure that countries such as Japan never re-armed and threatened other countries. At the same time Japan was concerned that if she did not rearm, she could be a victim of external aggression. The United States solved this problem by guaranteeing Japan’s Security. This was achieved by establishing large military bases in Japan. This arrangement has proved useful in preventing a nuclear arms race in Asia. For example, when North Korea later tested a nuclear device Japan considered developing nuclear weapons in response. However it decided against it because of America’s security umbrella, which guaranteed its protection from a nuclear attack.
5 The United States' support is essential in promoting global social justice
The developing world is plagued by diseases such as malaria and Aids. It also lacks the capacity to deal with global disasters such as earthquakes and tsunami’s. If Britain intends to help alleviate the plight of the developing world, it needs a powerful partner like America which can provides funds and logistic support to achieve these aims. America has proved useful in this regard with its donation of $15 billion towards aids treatment programmes in Africa. This makes her the world’s largest donor. America was also the largest donor of aid to Pakistan when it experienced an earth quake in 2005 and its provision of helicopters helped aid workers reach the mountainous regions of Pakistan. These acts of kindness show that America is a country that cares about human suffering and as such if Britain cares for social justice, it must align itself with America.
It's nice to hear a bit of appreciation from someone in the international community. The scales are still a bit out of balance, considering all the positives this nation has brought to the world the last 200 or so years.
Posted by Michael at 2:02 PM
Thursday, February 08, 2007
The Military Channel and Military.com have joined forces to create "Reconnect America," a nationwide program that makes it easy for you to show your support for the men and women of our Armed Forces. I've added banners and links on the right side, and I encourage everyone to give them a look.
Posted by Michael at 6:32 PM
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
John Stossel calls out officials in Boston for their handling of the Cartoon Network promotional light screens "discovered" around Boston last week. Among his comments:
... the signs were installed three weeks earlier in nine other cities, including New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Authorities there didn't freak out. The Associated Press reported, "There were no immediate signs of anyone panicking . . . removal of the signs was low-key. . . "
Only in Boston was there panic.
Mayor Menino said more than $500,000 was spent to send dozens of federal, state, and city bomb and terrorism experts to investigate. But he blamed the young men, not himself.
Posted by Michael at 10:36 AM
Friday, February 02, 2007
In this clip form a speech broadcast on C-Span, presidential candidate (eek!) Hillary Clinton discusses her desire to strip the oil production companies of their profits. She says she wants to take those profits and put them into "strategic energy fund" to fund research and technologies to move the U.S. toward energy independence.
Like the little Socialist she is, she feels it's perfectly fine for the government to confiscate the profits of a private company and redistribute them as the government sees fit. The anit-capitalist wing of the Democratic Party seems to see corporate profits as immoral. Hillary calls for the confiscation of oil company profits. That wouldn't be the first time such an approach was tried:
In 1980, President Carter signed into law the Crude Oil Windfall Profit Tax Act, enacted in concert with the gradual dismantling of domestic oil price controls that were in effect throughout the 1970s. The law, which was repealed in the late 1980s, established excise taxes as high as 70 percent on the difference between the selling price and a price set by law.
Economic theory suggests that such a measure would discourage exploration. Drilling for oil is very risky, and investors will take that risk only if they believe there is some chance they will make great profits. Take away the profits, and drilling will stop...
In 1990, the U.S. Congressional Research Service studied the effects of the 1980s tax, and found that it had exactly the predicted effect. U.S. production was reduced, and reliance on foreign oil increased sharply. Reinstating the tax would, Congress's research agency concluded, "make the U.S. more dependent upon foreign oil."
The way the tax worked was simple. The government set a mandated price-per-barrel on oil. Anytime the cost went above that government limit, additional taxes were imposed. It failed miserably. The result was a financially depressed domestic oil industry, increased foreign imports and raised little revenue for the government. It also led, by 1990, to a 100% increase in foreign imports. Oh, and lots of people who had been making good salaries in the oil business were suddenly unemployeed.
Earlier price control efforts in the 1970s had the same effect. Domestic production dropped significantly. That lost production, coupled with increasing demand, led to an increase of about 13.5% in world crude prices. And more hard-working Americans were laid off.
Oh, and did you know???
Since 1977, more than twice as much money has been collected by governments in gasoline tax revenues than the oil companies have made in profits?
Posted by Michael at 10:07 AM
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Sounds familiar, I know, but it isn't what you think. The U.S. Department of Justice's complaint - the first of its kind in the country, according to department officials - accuses African Americans of discriminating against white voters. Among the issues the Justice Department said it found in its investigation were:
Black candidates who do not satisfy residency requirements have been allowed to run in elections in an effort to defeat white candidates for local office.I don't have any idea about the merits of the case, but it will be interesting to see how this one unfolds.
White voters have been kept from participating in the Democratic primary, even those legally entitled to vote.
Absentee ballots cast by white voters have been rejected, while ballots from black voters that contain similar or more serious defects have been accepted.
White residents have been discriminated against in the selection of people to work at polls and in providing information about the absentee voting process.
White candidates have been blocked from viewing the tabulation of ballots, while black candidates have been allowed to do so.
Black residents have been allowed to violate restrictions against campaigning at the polls.
Posted by Michael at 11:03 AM
Well, I managed to come down with the ear, nose and throat crud while in Mississippi. It started off relatively light, but has gotten worse the last couple of days. I'm feeling pretty cruddy right now. Hopefully it will clear up in time for this weekend's big Super Bowl get-together.
Posted by Michael at 10:01 AM
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
A last minute work trip is taking me to Jackson, Mississippi for a few days. Therefore, no new posts until next week. Please check out some of the blogs listed over on the right side. Many of them are much better and more informative than this one. But I'm trying to catch up to them!
Posted by Michael at 10:14 AM
Monday, January 22, 2007
Okay, maybe that should say minor royalty... Sweden's Prince Carl Philip is reported to have been held by American police in Miami when he entered the USA from Venezuela last autumn. He was interrogated on arrival in the country, missed his connecting flight, and arrived in Washington one day later than planned. Authorities didn't believe he was actually who he claimed to be, and he spent one night in police custody.
Posted by Michael at 9:45 AM
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Friday, January 19, 2007
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Heidi Cullen, climatologist for The Weather Channel, has advocated decertifying any television meteorologist that expresses doubt that human activity is causing global warming. The end-all argument of the Left: think like us, or else! That's excellent.
What she advocates, on the most basic level, is extortion. She's saying either promote the agenda we want you to promote, of we will do harm to your career.
Actually, others have taken this ridiculous notion a step farther. Grist magazine writer David Roberts called for the Nuremberg-style trials for the "[expletives]" who were members of what he termed the global warming "denial industry." Interestingly, Cullen featured Roberts on an episode of her Weather Channel show "The Climate Code". She referred to him as an expert on ecology and energy issues.
As an aside... In December, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.)and the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee announced the public release of the Senate Committee published booklet entitled "A Skeptic's Guide to Debunking Global Warming Alarmism. Hot & Cold Media Spin Cycle: A Challenge To Journalists who Cover Global Warming." The senator has challenged the media in a series of speeches and hearings to stop the unfounded hype.
"The American people are fed up with the media for promoting the idea that former Vice President Al Gore represents the scientific 'consensus' that SUV's and the modern American way of life have somehow created a 'climate emergency' that only United Nations bureaucrats and wealthy Hollywood liberals can solve."
Posted by Michael at 1:39 PM
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Democratic Rep. Silvestre Reyes, then-incoming House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman, was quoted in the Dec. 5th issue of Newsweek magazine as saying he wanted to see an increase of 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops in Iraq as part of a "stepped up effort to dismantle the militias."
"We have to consider the need for additional troops to be in Iraq, to take out the militias and stabilize Iraq," the Texas Democrat said to the surprise of many, "I would say 20,000 to 30,000."
Then guess what happened. President Bush announced that he would implement that very increase, precisely what Rep. Reyes suggested.
What happens when a liberal Democrat realizes that President Bush sees things their way? Why, they change their opinions. Remember the Democrat mantra... Bush Is Bad. After the President announces his plan, which matches what Rep. Reyes proposed a month earlier, the good Democrat changes his tune.
Hours after Mr. Bush announced his proposal, Mr. Reyes told the El Paso Times that such a troop buildup was unthinkable. "We don't have the capability to escalate even to this minimum level," he said.
Wow! Rep. Reyes supported the troop increase before he spoke against it. John Kerry would be proud.
Posted by Michael at 8:53 PM
Monday, January 15, 2007
The Media Research Center has released the results of a ten-week study on Cable TV's coverage of the Iraq War. The MRC reviewed all three news networks' reporting on Iraq between May 15 and July 21. That period of time included the successful air strike that eliminated al-Qaeda terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as well as allegations of U.S. military misconduct at Haditha. The results? No surprises...
All three cable news networks ran more stories reflecting bad news about the situation in Iraq than stories about coalition achievements. But Fox News (FNC) was the most balanced, with 20 percent of stories emphasizing optimism, compared with 30 percent that stressed pessimism.
Fully three-fifths (60%) of all CNN stories on the war emphasized setbacks, misdeeds or pessimism about progress in Iraq, compared to just 10 percent that reported on achievements or victories. MSNBC’s tilt was closer to CNN, with four times more bad news stories (48%) than reports stressing good news (12%).
While FNC provided significant coverage to unproven claims of U.S. military misconduct in Iraq (12 stories), the other networks took a much more sensational approach to the story. MSNBC aired three times as much coverage of alleged misconduct as FNC (36 stories), while CNN aired a whopping 59 stories — nearly five times the coverage of FNC.
FNC aired a total of 81 stories announcing coalition victories in Iraq, nearly as many as MSNBC (47 stories) and CNN (41 stories) combined. During the ten weeks of our study, most coverage of Iraq’s political process reflected optimism about the democratically-elected government, a topic that FNC also showcased more than either MSNBC or CNN (63 stories vs. 34 and 38 respectively).
While all three networks presented news of Zarqawi’s death as a victory for the U.S. coalition, CNN chose that day to interview a Middle East journalist who complained, "There’s no good news in Iraq. There’s no corner that’s been turned, there’s no milestone... I just feel very depressed and hopeless." Over on MSNBC, the network took time away from covering the breaking news of Zarqawi’s death to feature positive profiles of United States military deserters.
And the folks at CNN and MSNBC wonder why FoxNews remains the runaway, clear #1 cable news channel in the U.S.
Posted by Michael at 8:56 PM
Friday, January 12, 2007
The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch has this gem...
Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, D-Cleveland, who is running for the 2008 presidential nomination, went further. In a speech Monday in New York, Kucinich unveiled his plan to "end the occupation" of Iraq by U.S. forces, pay reparations, close bases and withdraw.
Posted by Michael at 10:41 AM
The number one issue that cost Republicans in last November's elections was obviously the war in Iraq. But perhaps the second biggest issue, among conservatives at least, was the government's refusal to seriously combat illegal immigration. The tremendous influx of illegals from Mexico has brought us to this point: Of everyone alive that was born in Mexico, more than 12% now live in the USA.
Government estimates show that during the 1970s, about 120,000 Mexicans illegally crossed the border into the US every year. During the '80s, that number jumped to 200,000 a year. In the '90s, about 350,000 a year. That figure now is approaching 500,000 illegals a year.
How much American money is winding up in Mexico? The L.A. Times reports that $39 billion was wired from the U.S. to Mexico during 2005, most of it from the 12 million illegal Mexican immigrants working in America.
If you know me, you know I don't buy into conspiracy theories. However, I believe 12 million people streaming across the border constitutes an invasion. Keep this in mind... Mexican President Ernesto Zedilla was in Chicago in July 1997, and told the National Council of LaRaza, "I have proudly affirmed that the Mexican nation extends beyond the territory enclosed by its borders." He announced a Mexican constitutional amendment that purports to allow Mexicans to retain their Mexican nationality even though they become U.S. citizens (which is contrary to the U.S. naturalization oath). In 2001, then President Vicente Fox came to the United States. He reiterated this line, proclaiming that "the Mexican nation extends beyond the territory enclosed by its borders" and includes migrants living in the United States. He called for open borders and endorsed Mexico's new dual citizenship law.
For more on the idea that the Southwestern United States should be returned to Mexico, do a Google search for "Republica del Norte".
Posted by Michael at 9:59 AM
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
The San Diego Chargers play host Sunday to the New England Patriots in the AFC playoffs. The last 1,000 or so tickets went on sale this week, but with a stipulation. Tickets were for local residents only. Payments could be made only by credit card, and the billing address on the cards was checked. Orders with an out-of-area billing address were immediately cancelled.
I can understand the argument that the Cargers wanted to make sure their fans could get tickets, not lose them to Pats fans. This shows (to me, at least) what a weak fan base the Chargers have, that there were still a lot of tickets available the week leading up to a playoff game. It's a sign of weakness and insecurity on the part of the Chargers.
More importantly, couldn't this open the Chargers up to some legal action? Apparently there's no NFL rule that saws tickets have to be made available to everyone. Sure doesn't seem right to me.
Posted by Michael at 9:39 PM
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Pajamas Media reports that the al Qaeda members U.S. gunships attacked yesterday were on the move from Ethiopian military forces. Apparently, U.S. air and ground forces have been covertly aiding the Ethiopian military since its intervention began on Christmas Day.
So, U.S. boots are on the ground in Somalia. I'm glad to see that the War on Terror continues, despite the cut-and-run Libs gaining control of the Congress.
Posted by Michael at 8:31 AM
Monday, January 08, 2007
CBS is reporting that a U.S. AC-130 gunship attacked members of al Qaeda in Somalia. The targets were the senior al Qaeda leader in East Africa and an al Qaeda operative wanted for his involvement in the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa
Posted by Michael at 9:49 PM
Friday, January 05, 2007
This story from the LA Weekly provides a very detailed look at the media response to the brutal beating of three women by a mob on Halloween night. The victims were white, the gang of more than three dozen accused attackers all black and hurling racial insults. The attack led to charges, including hate crime charges, against many of the alleged attackers. There was virtually no media coverage of the incident prior to the trial, which is in its fourth week.
The lack of coverage from the national media, and the lack of outrage from civil rights leaders, could lead one to think there are different levels of hate crime for different color people.
Posted by Michael at 10:35 AM
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Daryn Kagan spent a dozen years at CNN, but was let go last week. Rather than jump to another network, she's launched her own web site. She's still anchoring, in a sense. More than just a talking head, she's also webmaster and reporter. But she's working the "good news only" beat.
Posted by Michael at 8:15 AM
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Stumbled across this story about Texas public schools appealing their ratings from the latest student standardized test scores. The state ratings system is based largely on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test scores of specific subgroups such as black, Hispanic, white and low-income students. A school must produce a given passing rate in each group to earn a certain rating. Among the excuses given by the schools for student failures...
One teenage girl was set to take the state test for special-education students but went into labor before she could. The school argued that it should be able to count her as a passing student.
A fire alarm went off during the social studies TAKS exam... officials argued that the alarm had distracted the school's black students, whose scores had fallen short of the acceptable bar.
A fourth-grader who consistently got good grades had answered "A" to every multiple-choice question on a practice TAKS test. According to school officials, the student's parents had encouraged the child to sabotage the TAKS.
Posted by Michael at 11:26 AM
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
The USDA has announced their findings from a study on meat from cloned animals. The results: meat and milk from clones of adult cattle, pigs and goats, and their offspring, are as safe to eat as food from conventionally bred animals. The assessment was peer-reviewed by a group of independent scientific experts in cloning and animal health.
The outcry has already begun from religious groups, organics growers, fear-mongers and worry-warts. After searching Google News for stories about the decision, and reaction to it, most of the arguments against the decision seem to go like this: "Nobody wants to eat meat from a cloned animal. Cloning is unethical. How do we know it's safe? Eleven years of study isn't enough. Why do we need cloning. We grow all the animals we'll ever need."
Critics play up the idea that clones are some kind of scientific Frankenstein animal. Actually, if you look around, you might see a clone today. Don't believe me?
The basic definition of a clone is "one that appears to be a copy of an original form." As far as genetics, a clone is "the aggregate of genetically identical cells or organisms asexually produced by a single progenitor cell or organism; an individual grown from a single somatic cell or cell nucleus and genetically identical to it." Have you ever met identical twins? Also known as "nature's clones", identical twins are exact genetic matches. They're like clones of each other. We don't consider them freakish or ungodly. We don't shun them.
The "eating cloned meat" argument is misleading, because the cloned animals would almost exclusively be used for breeding. Their offspring would not be clones. Animals with the strongest, most beneficial traits could be replicated and used to strengthen herds. If we can locate animals with resistance to diseases, like a BSE ("Mad Cow") resistant cow, they could help breed new herds of cows all resistant to the disease.
The science behind this research is no less relevant or untrustworthy than the science that led to vaccines for diseases, treatments for cancers, brain surgery, in-vitro fertilization, DNA and genome mapping, and so much more. These are not mad scientists, trying to create some genetic abomination. They're working for the greater good, just as most scientists always have. Arguments based of fear, mis-information, even lies, are much more dangerous and unethical than the science of cloning.
Posted by Michael at 8:22 PM
Monday, January 01, 2007
Just a few fun sites I've stumbled across recently...
Upload a picture of a friend or co-worker and create a dancing elf with that person's face.
Overheard In New York
Folks overhear the strangest things in New York. At this web site, they share those conversations with the world.
This directory of sports-related podcasts is a must visit for sports fans.
UTOPIA Maps In The News
For the geographically challenged, the maps here help give a reference to the places around the world where news is happening.
Some fantastic, some scary and some downright bizarre flying-related videos. My favorite, the guy who's hurled hundreds of feet into air via sling-shot, then parachutes back to earth.
You design your won t-shirt, andthey create it.
Will It Blend?
These clowns take the strangest assortment of things and, well, try to puree them in a blender. Cell phones, rotisserie chicken, credit cards, even hockey pucks.
Posted by Michael at 8:23 PM