Monday, January 29, 2007
Schools, Home-Schooling, New Orleans and Choices
The movement towards private schools and vouchers and white – flight and home-schooling may have their roots firmly planted in the anti-integration soil of the past 40 years. But as of today that movement has gained most of its ground not from the inherent racism of its birth - as many liberal pundits insinuate...It appears that liberals and Democrats like to create myths by calling others racist, etc., too. While Wikipedia may be flawed there is not a single mention of racist roots in the Wikipedia entry for home schooling. But, of course, it's always handy to put some sort of nasty handle on those that disagree with us.
Public schools have failed for a long time in many ways as you will see if you read the Wikipedia entry. This part of the entry actually cites research of illiterate mothers in Africa. "illiterate tribal mothers in Africa produced children who were socially and emotionally more advanced than typical western children, by western standards of measurement." I doubt that racists would point to African mothers as a positive example.
The flight from public schools has been due to poor education and lack of responsiveness to parents, the public at large and, to a lesser degree, the removal of any form of religion in schools.
My oldest daughter home-schools two of her kids because she did not like the public schools. Academically, her efforts seem to be quite successful so far. BTW - they tend to be libertarian politically, and attend an Unitarian Church. They have network of home-schoolers with whom they share teaching, materials, field trips, etc.
I think that liberals don't like home-schooling because it is not government controlled. Liberals believe and insist that government is the solution to all our problems. Obviously not you, but many liberals also hate the idea that any "government" money might go to a religious organization for any purpose. (I put quotes around government because any money the government has comes from us. It's our money.)
I wonder how many religious colleges get government money via all the grants, scholarships, etc the students get. Just about all, I'd say. So why not high schools and elementary schools? Right now private schools have to perform to attract students. Public schools don't. Many of their students don't have a choice.
Liberals love giving women the choice to kill those students before the students are born but, obviously, liberals want to control your choices. In Massachusetts, a pharmacist doesn't have the choice of whether or not to sell the morning-after pill. Liberals don't believe doctors and hospitals should have the choice whether or not to perform abortions. So much for choice unless it's to kill your unborn child.
Give all students a choice of where to go to school and see what happens.
Now, my other point (question), how come the Catholic schools are able to take in so many students while the public school aren't? Did the parochial schools receive less damage or what? Or, as many people that send their kids to private schools or home-school them believe, is the government just less competent?
Friday, January 26, 2007
Still Not Dating
Well, I didn't go out on a date in the past year. That makes a little over 7 years since my last date. I don't sit at home and mope. Indeed, I'm generally busier than I wish. With three active kids still living at home, I'm hard pushed.
My oldest son and 10 year old daughter are heavily involved in basketball. A couple of weekends ago, my daughter played in 11 basketball games in 4 days (tournaments). I watched them all. My son generally has 2 games a week as a high school player. And then, my 13 year old son has formed a rock band with some friends plus throws shot put on the track team. (He plays football also, but it's out of season.) It would be hard to have more fun than I am now.
So, why date? It would take time and money away from my kids. Most often, it seems the woman expects the man to please her, flatter her, etc. I spend enough time pleasing people at work. I would love to have a "female buddy" but those seem hard come by. Again and again, I hear women explaining their divorces with "He just was making me happy."
Ladies, if you need someone else to make you happy, you need a therapist not a husband or boyfriend. I first discovered this when taking a lone motorcycle trip across the country in 1978. For 16 days, I was happy all by myself. I was even happy when my motorcycle broke down in West Memphis, Arkansas. And, now, I'm happy raising my kids.
Read DrHelen's post and be sure and read through the comments. Many people have had much worse experiences in relationships than I have.
A sprinkling of the comments:
Guys - avoid marriage at all costs if you expect to have a good probability of a normal sex life as you get older. If you do get married, marry someone younger.Now, that stuff is sad. The last comment could have been mine but wasn't, same age.
Otherwise, stay single, you'll have a better sex life. I am divorced after an 81/2 year marriage that was largely sexless after year 3. I have three f"friends with benefits" (also divorced) and occasionally have a serious relationship. My married buddies in their 40s and 50s are locked into their marriages, and most of those are largely sexless. If they leave, they know they will lose most of their assets and their children.
"My personal reasons for not wanting sex is disappointment, the word NO, rejection, lack of desire by wife, total indifference." Pretty much exactly my experience with my wife...
She has gotten to the point that when she says no and I express disappointment or frustration, she outright laughs at me.
I'll hang myself before I marry again.
Suffering for its own sake is just masochism - they have websites for that, imposing it on others without their consent is a crime and tort.
I am 55, am told by a number of women that I am handsome, I make good money, I'm healthy, I don't smoke, and I'm not fat.
I've had sex one time in 3 years.
The hassle isnt worth it.
On a related note. The Anchoress linked the other day to another issue regarding sex, Casual sex is a con; Women just aren’t like men an article by Dawn Eden. Eden looks at casual sex as one of the big lies of feminism.
Another Mountain Lion Encounter
ell Hamm said she heard a 'horrible plea for help' and when she turned around, she saw her husband in the mouth of the lion. So she picked up a nearby log, about 3 to 4 inches in diameter and used it as a weapon.More encounters are sure to come.
"I just picked it up and started hitting the lion and hitting him hard but he wouldn't even flinch. He wouldn't let go," Nell told FOX News Friday morning as her husband recovered from a torn scalp, puncture wounds and other injuries on his arms, legs and hands.
"I just kept hitting him and hitting him and Jim was coherent through the whole thing," she said.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Price Gouging Oil Companies
Damn those price gouging oil companies!
Too Much Wildlife in the City
Fort Thomas city leaders say they have a problem. And that problem is too many deer.Some residents don't like this plan. I question it myself. The wisdom of even the most skilled sharpshooter firing a high powered rifle at deer in an area with maybe 50,000 people within range of the rifle doesn't sound too great.
So they're considering using sharpshooters to thin the herd, but not just any sharpshooters: members of their own police department.
"We are talking about in-house sharpshooters, this would not be open to the public," Mayor Mary Brown said. "We do have a couple of people who are sharpshooters who qualify as sharpshooters."
I can attest to the deer population. I drive through Ft. Thomas and several of these other cities to and from work. Dead deer are a common sight on the side of the Interstate. I suspect some deer live in the wooded areas along the Interstate.
I'm not sure how Ft. Thomas can best handle its deer problem. Maybe if they let a few Blue Tick Hounds run through the city the deer would go elsewhere.
But the big question is: With an abundant food supply available and mountain lion sightings nearby, will these big cats enter the cities? What are the limits of allowing predatory animals to live and prey in areas with heavy populations? If the big cats come, who will be the first human victim, a child, an elderly person, or a homeless one sleeping the night in the woods?
Maybe we should revisit leash laws. Dogs chase and scare deer away. According to "Beast in the Garden", two or three good hounds send mountain lions fleeing in terror. Unfortunately, dogs will chase and attack humans also. Seems there are no easy answers here, either.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Freedom or Liberalism: Your Choice
The "Fairness" Doctrine raised its ugly head again with the comments of Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). The supposed goal of "fairness" is to require some sort of "equal" time to opposing view points on radio and TV in particular. The real goal is to suppress free speech as practiced by conservative talk show hosts.
Obviously, as shown by Air America's lack of success, there is very little market for liberal talk show and opinions expressed there in. Few care what Al Franken, Randi Rhodes, and Ed Schultz have to say. Meanwhile, conservative talk radio has been a resounding success. The only problem is that conservative talk radio expounds views contrary to liberalism.
Naturally, to liberals, a radio station that airs Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage every day should be forced to air equal amounts of liberal programming. Except that there is no market for the liberal programming and eventually the radio stations would be forced to change to non-political formats or simply go out of business. And the liberals would have successfully quashed opposing view points. Some "fairness."
More at Captain's Quarters and Extreme Mortman.
Squashing Freedom of Religion: I've written about this before. Essentially, liberals it is OK to force anyone and everyone to perform abortions, sell the morning after pill and such. It's a matter of "convenience" and even though your religious belief may be against these things, their "convenience" trumps your religious belief and your freedom to practice your religious beliefs in every day life.
Another attack on Freedom of Speech: Section 220 of Bill S.1 sponsored by Harry Reid (D - NV), famous liberal, would require registration of bloggers with more than 500 readers who comment on policy issues. Sounds a little like the gun control argument (another liberal attack on our freedom), "we just want to register you." Being on such a "hit" list would obviously have a detrimental effect on freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Another look at this attack here.
At the moment the above attempt has been defeated in the Senate by the passing of the Bennett Amendment No. 20. The amendment passed 55 for, 43 against and 2 abstained. Take a close look at the nays. 42 are Democrats (liberals) and 1 independent. I'm sure they'll continue to attack our free expression on the Internet and elsewhere. (Hat tip to Instapundit)
Of course, the suppression of free speech strengthens daily in the global warming debate. Now
The Weather Channel’s (TWC) Heidi Cullen, who hosts the weekly global warming program "The Climate Code," is advocating that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) revoke their "Seal of Approval" for any television weatherman who expresses skepticism that human activity is creating a climate catastrophe.Galileo would find today's scientific world quite familiar. Only Al Gore has replaced the Pope. It's quite telling when religion bases more of its belief on fact than does certain "scientists." (Via Drudgereport)
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Egocentric Professor, Jaywalking and Bush
Pelosi: "a stay at home mother who now can have it all"
Indeed, Steyn writes a telling and humorous account of the double standard and shallow affection the media have for Grandma Pelosi. As glaring as the dog that didn't bark is the absence of references to Pelosi's very wealthy husband. Betsy states:
I wonder if traditional feminists are at all uncomfortable with all this celebration of a stay at home mother who now can have it all. And how little mention there is of her very wealthy husband who perhaps made all this motherhood and rise in politics possible. I've seen more mentions of her father politician than her husband. Why is he getting shortchanged? As the San Francisco Chronicle wrote recently, he is deliberately keeping a low profile. I guess having a multimillionaire husband doesn't fit the entire image. There's nothing wrong with having a husband who has made many millions in investments, but it is part of the complete picture and some mention of him should belong in the media profiles.From my personal observations, Betsy makes a incisive observation, not just into Pelosi, but into the minds and lives of many "liberated" women. I can't count the number of women I've known whom consider themselves "liberated" who heavily depended on their husbands to attain their "status."
Being a stay at home mom for most is not an easy job, but women with rich husbands usually have plenty of help with the cleaning, laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, babysitting, etc. Women of the middle class and the lower economic groups must work much harder as mothers then the rich. I doubt Pelosi had a difficult motherhood.
But Betsy made me think about all the women who "made it" on their husband's coat tails. I know several women who eventually became "successes" because they could go to college, quit jobs at will, try different career choices and such because hubby was there to make sure the family stayed solvent. Hubby carries the load, mommy gets the glory. Do you remember in the 1998 Olympics all the fuss about Tara Lipinski and her mother? Dad worked and earned all the money that payed for everything. For his efforts authorities prevented him from joining his daughter after she won the gold medal because they didn't know who he was.
Of course, what we really see here is why Pelosi and all those other rich guys and gals in Congress are so out of touch with real life in the United States. They never lived it, or lived it so long ago that they can't remember it. But they'll give you a measly raise in minimum wage and act like it's the greatest thing since the birth of Christ. And, once again, the MSM falls in love with skin-deep "beauty" and not substance.
P.S. John Kerry put a new twist on the rich spouse routine, however.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Cougars Are Coming!!
I saw three deer grazing in the front yard of a residential area today. Some farmers in the area recruit hunters to hunt on their farms in order control crop damage due to deer. Hillsides too steep to farm provide plenty of woods for mountain lions to hide from humans. It seems to me mountain lions could re-establish themselves in this rural area. Coyotes have flourished over the last couple of decades.
Initially, I spoke with local hunters and farmers I know. A couple claimed there had been a few sightings of a mountain lion in Fleming County, Kentucky, south of Maysville. However, I could find no evidence of these sighting on the Web.
But one substantiated case of a mountain lion has been recorded in Kentucky. In 1997, in Floyd County, Kentucky a man hit and killed a puma kitten on Highway 850.
This kitten is important for several reasons: she was a highway fatality, and biologists claim that if cougars were present in any numbers some would get hit by cars; she indicates that reproduction is going on in the wild; and she exemplifies the mixing of cougars from various origins that is probably occurring in the eastern woods. An April 20, 2001 letter from Steve Thomas, Wildlife biologist, KY Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources to Chris Bolgiano, ECF vp, confirms the above information.Floyd County lies in the mountain region of Kentucky about 100 miles south southeast of Maysville. The sighting is undoubtedly legitimate but only a single occurrence.
In November, 2004, USA Today reported on mountain lions moving into Midwestern and Eastern states. The article cites as the primary reason for the return of mountain lions as being abundance of deer and elk. "Mountain lions are thriving because deer and elk — the cougar's main prey — have grown in numbers while competing predators — wolves and bears — are struggling." In May, 2004, USA Today also reported sightings of a mountain lion in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, Ohio's largest city. Columbus lies about 100 miles north of Maysville.
Suddenly, in the past two weeks, mountain lions sightings are being reported in the Cincinnati area. Indeed, the reporter in the news video claims to have seen the mountain lion himself. I drive through the areas the mountain lion was reported to have been seen each day I go to and from work. Considering that deer are so plentiful that one crashed through a plate glass window into the lobby of the Millennium Hotel in the heart of Cincinnati this past summer, seeing predators of the deer shouldn't be surprising.
I'll have to be extra careful if I have a flat tire.
I wonder how closely other areas will share the experiences of Boulder, Colorado. It seems almost inevitable that there will be some human fatalities. Modern man seems to have great difficulty figuring out his role in nature, even if it means protecting one's self and loved ones.
Out of curiosity, I've begun checking certain areas for tracks. Maybe I'll discover something. I'm certainly a little more leery of letting my kids roam in the woods unsupervised and unprotected. And, I hope there is no reason for a "Beast in the Garden, Part II."
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Former Democratic Congressional Candidate Chases Three Men With An Assault Rifle
Indian Hill lawyer and former congressional candidate Paul Hackett - armed with a loaded assault rifle - chased down three men in a car after it crashed into a fence at his home in the early morning hours of Nov. 19.Hackett sounds like some sort of crazed "militia" type.
The driver was charged with failure to maintain reasonable control, driving under suspension and carrying a concealed weapon - a pair of brass knuckles found in his pocket - according to the Indian Hill police.
Indian Hill Rangers consider the matter closed, but a Hamilton County grand jury two weeks ago took testimony from the three men in the car and the ranger who investigated the incident, according to an Indian Hill police report.
The incident happened around 4:30 a.m. Nov. 19. Police were called to Hackett's Indian Hill house after Fee failed to make a curve and ran into a fence at the home on Given Road, according to the police report.An AR-15 assault rifle with 29 rounds? These guys just ran into Hackett's fence. Sounds like massive over kill. Hackett claims he was protecting his home. How far from your home do you chase someone before your house is protected? I wonder what the police would do if an ordinary citizen with an AR-15 chased someone through town.
When White arrived at the house, Hackett's wife, Suzi, told him that her husband had called her to say he had stopped the men on Keller Road.
White called for backup. He arrived at a driveway in the 8700 block of Keller Road to find the three men lying face down near their small, black car and Hackett's pickup truck. With a flashlight, White saw a strap on Hackett's right shoulder and "what appeared to be an assault rifle hanging along his right side," White's report said.
White told Hackett to put away the rifle and "not take things into his own hands."
Fee was the only person charged. He is scheduled to plead to the charges Jan. 24, according to court records.
During the investigation, Hackett told police Nov. 30 that he was carrying an AR-15. He said one round was in the chamber and that he usually has 28 rounds in the magazine. He also told police that he did not point the weapon at the three men, the safety was on and he never put his finger on the trigger.
Hackett said he had followed a trail of fluid left by the car, and the vehicle stopped in a driveway. Hackett told police that he hopped out of his truck and that he was armed.
"He told the boys to 'Get the ---- out of the car and get on the ground.' ... He said he did not touch the vehicle with the rifle and maintained his distance. 'I knew they saw I was armed,' he said. He said he had done this about 200 times in Iraq, but this time there was not a translation problem," the Indian Hill police report said.
Moore said Hackett was woken up by "criminal activity" and "took affirmative action to protect his wife and family from an unknown disturbance at his house." He then "attempted to bring the perpetrators to justice who had fled from the scene," according to Moore.
Apparently there is some debate concerning if any charges will be filed against Hackett. But Hackett is a rich lawyer living in a town, Indian Hill, Ohio, with a higher average household income ($158,742 in 2000) over twice that of Beverly Hills, California ($70,945 in 2000). How much you wanna bet that rich, Democratic lawyers pay no price for running around with loaded AR-15's chasing hapless guys through rich neighborhoods? While I'm a strong supporter of the right to bear arms, I don't believe we need nuts like Paul Hackett running around our streets (or your streets) with assault rifles. It's hard to believe he almost made it to Congress. And, all this over a slightly damaged fence in a rich man's yard.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
What's Your Big FEAR?!
Fear of predators is an American staple. Polar bears wander into town when the ice melt doesn't allow them access. Do the math.Now, I'm not sure what math I'm supposed to do. But polar bears will kill humans and, being the largest land predator in the world, about anything else it wishes. Two people have been killed in the last 5 years by black bears in Tennessee. It seems a healthy respect for or fear of large predators is a good thing.
But what is the big fear for the human race? Is it predators? Not really. Humans overwhelmingly handle predators quite effectively. Fear of natural disasters permeate mankind's history and cultures. Great Flood stories occur in many religions and cultures. Stories of destruction of cities through "natural" disasters, such as Sodom and Gomhora, Pompeii, Atlantis and many others, have passed down through the milleneums.
Even now, modern man with all his great knowledge and power trembles at the destructive power of nature. One of the popular series on The History Channel is Mega Disasters. Mega Disasters presents "could it happen" scenarios including Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Tsunami, Floods and more. Of course, the answer is always "Yes, it could happen and here's why and how." It's enough to make you wonder of we'll make it to the end of the year.
Discovery Channel carries a series called Perfect Disaster. Again, scenarios are presented in the manner of "This will happen. It's just a matter of when." These disasters often focus on a certain city or region as the focal point of the disaster with realistic enactments.
And what is currently the ultimate natural disaster to fear? Global warming. How much of our fear of global warming is based on hard scientific fact? How much of our fear of global warming is based on our fear interpreting information and creating "facts" that feed our fear? In the same manner that the paranoid man interprets events to support his paranoia can we be interpreting events to feed a fear deeply imbedded in our collective psyche for thousands of years?
I really don't know but it's a question worth pondering.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
A Brave New Toaster
Not being much of a electronic person, my first thought was that the brand name was a misnomer. The brand is "Back to Basics." Somehow a computerized toaster that will simultaneously toast your bread/bagel/English muffin while cooking your egg(s) and synchronize the cooking so that all are done at the same time is not basic.
The Egg & Muffin Toaster brings you the drive-thru breakfast without the drive! Simultaneously toasts and steam poaches an egg to create one of America's favorite breakfast sandwiches in about four minutes. Meat-warming tray included and even boils up to four eggs! Wide toasting slots and a crumb tray too.Being curious and out of a sense of obligation to my daughter, I decided to try the toaster the as soon as I remembered to buy some English muffins. The toaster is fantastic! While it may not be basic, it works as advertised.
How nice it is to be able to easily make egg muffin for a quick breakfast or snack. We use it for an afternoon or evening snack more than for breakfast. It is easy to clean, easy to use, etc. Highly recommended by DADvocate.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Beast in the Garden
People in the Boulder area relished living close to nature. They rejoiced when deer and other wild animals were frequent visitors in their yards. Unfortunately, deer make up the primary diet of mountain lions. Thus, the mountain lion slowly followed the deer into suburban and then urban areas.
Initially, the mountain lions avoided contact with humans. But, gradually, through the process of habituation, the lions learned that people, the lights around their houses, cars, the humans in general were of no real threat to them. The lions began eating pets and farm animals. A few attacks on humans occurred.
Yet, the overwhelming sentiment by the citizens was for the safety and welfare of the mountain lions, not people. Community meetings were held and most people that showed up were there to "speak on behalf of the lions."
During the development of the problems, a wildlife biologist realized the real threat posed by mountain lions and how the process of habituation would allow the lions to become more bold with future attacks on humans a virtual certainty. No one gave his warnings significant credence.
January 14, 1991 in nearby Clear Creek, Co., high school student Scott Lancaster went for a training run during fifth period. He ran a route that circled up a hillside, through wooded areas, and back to the school. He was seen going by the school at the completion of his first circuit. During the next circuit, Scott was killed and partially eaten by a mountain lion.
Even after this incident, the public expressed much concern for the welfare of mountain lions although it was realized that something needed to be done. Eventually, authorities came up with no lethal measures, such as rubber buckshot, to help teach lions a fear of humans and discourage the lions from entering human territory.
What struck me, when I first heard about this book and what was reinforced in reading it, is how well the story parallels the threat of terrorism to America.
The 9/11 terrorists purposefully "habituated" themselves to American culture. The learned how to fit in to our society. The only difference between the terrorists and the mountain lions is the purposefulness of the terrorists' actions. The lions' only goal is to find food. The terrorists wish to kill Americans.
Yet, just as those who were concerned about the lions, many Americans (read liberals mostly) seem more concerned about the terrorists than their own children, nieces, nephews, neighbors, and other fellow citizens. Thus, the absurd level of outrage over Gitmo, Abu Ghraib and other "atrocities" supposedly committed by American soldiers, CIA, etc.
Too many Americans have a schizophrenic disconnect with nature, wild animals and terrorists. The book is a great read, a thorough and fascinating look into the actions and psyches of wild animals and humans and their interaction with each other. The psycho/sociological process of how many want to deal with terrorists is accurately reflected in the attitudes of the animal "lovers" in the liberal Boulder area.
As for me, I believe we need to take measures with terrorists similar to what officials eventually did in Boulder, make them scared of us. Whether the methods are fatal or non-fatal, some how we must create enough fear in them that they dare not attack us. This probably needs some new and creative techniques other than just simple military assault. Then and only then, since even terrorists are God's children, we can work on guiding them, if possible, to a life that is in much greater harmony with the rest of the world.
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