Wednesday, December 16, 2009
So if your mom is dying and you want to see her one last time before Christmas then tough luck, kid. And if that bothers you, leave. Taunton is no place for cry-babies.
It seems that his principal asked "why did you use x's for his eyes?" The little boy replied "because he's dead." So naturally the principal consulted with the school psychiatrist and refused to let the 8-year old return to school unless his family got a letter from a psychiatrist certifying that he wasn't a threat to the school.
The rest of the story is predictable. The kid's dad was angry, the school superintendent wrote a smarmy response, and the traumatized kid was transfered to a new school (which is probably traumatic in itself for most 8-year-olds.)
Want to fight back for this little boy? Tell someone "Merry Christmas" today, and mean it.
Actually, according to the New York Times they were going to get rid of the creche altogether, but then decided that that was too provocative, and then finally changed their mind again and moved it into a dark corner. I would be remiss if I failed to point out that this is a repeat in miniature of the President's Afghanistan policies over the last year. Let's hope that bin Laden is less competent at defending himself than the baby Jesus.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Before nominating her for U.S. Attorney General for Montana, Senator Max Baucus gave the staffer he was bonking a $14,000 raise and took her along with him on a taxpayer-paid junket to Asia. At least Tiger Woods pays his prostitutes from his own pocket.- Christopher Fountain, For What It's Worth
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
The University Library of the University of California, Santa Cruz, seeks an enterprising, creative, and service-oriented archivist to join the staff of Special Collections & Archives (SC&A) as Archivist for the Grateful Dead Archive. This is a potential career status position. The Archivist will be part of a dynamic, collegial, and highly motivated department dedicated to building, preserving, promoting, and providing maximum access both physically and virtually to one of the Library's most exciting and unique collections, The Grateful Dead Archive. Appointment Range: Associate Librarian III - Librarian I, with an approximate salary range of $52,860 - $68,892, commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Monday, November 30, 2009
When a small church comes to the Bowery Mission bearing fried chicken with trans fat, unwittingly breaking the law, they’re told “thank you.” Then workers quietly chuck the food, mission director Tom Bastile said.“It’s always hard for us to do,” Basile said. “We know we have to do it.”
(from Metro International.)
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The communists want to change this to "Our native land kept safe by ourselves". Of course, when the communists ruled Russia their unspoken motto was "Everything in this land belongs to us".
Sunday, November 15, 2009
when he was pulled into an alley and told to lay face down with a gun to his neck. Four men took his wallet, $16, keys and his cell phone.
But the reservist said that when one of the men saw an Army ID in the wallet, he told the others to return the items. He also apologized and thanked the reservist for serving.
The reservist said one robber gave him a quick fist bump before walking away.
The victim asked not to be identified because the robbers still have his keys.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Some people, who clearly have never served in the military, are asking why Major Hasan was allowed to be in the Army. (The government even paid for his medical school.) After all, he openly proclaimed his sympathy for other Islamic terrorists and he was even disciplined for trying to convert his patients to Islam. These are probably the same people who think that Heller's Catch-22 was an over-the-wall satire instead of a piercing social commentary.
But Michelle Malkin asks the next obvious question: "Why is it that we have to read British papers to get the unvarnished truths about the Ft. Hood Muslim mass murderer?"
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Monday, November 02, 2009
If a beginning graduate student sought my advice about, say, studying Africa I would first ask about his or her politics. If they were even slightly "conservative," I'd suggest switching fields, perhaps taking up mathematical modeling since PC faculty hate that stuff and can't read it anyhow.- Robert Weissberg, "Rescuing the University"
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
One of the 20 finalists in health care video contest run by Barack Obama’s campaign arm features a mural of an America flag splattered with health care graffiti until it’s covered completely by black paint.
In the video – which is accompanied by the sound of a heart monitor pumping and then flat-lining – words such as “pre-existing conditions,” “homeless” and “death panel” ultimately obliterate the flag, which reappears on screen seconds later with the words “Health Will Bring Our Country Back to Life” on the blue field where the 50 stars usually are.
The finalists were chosen by a panel of Democratic National Committee “employee judges.”
It's not surprising that some of the Democratic filmmakers who lost out to this hymn of hate don't think choosing it was a good idea.
“They should never pick that,” said the contestant, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “It makes the Democrats look really, really bad.”
Gee, doesn't the fact that a committed Democratic activist only feels comfortable dissenting under condition of anonymity show the Democrats in an even worse light?
On the scale of totalitarian creepiness, I find this video scarier than this one, but not nearly as creepy as this one. Happy Halloween!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) locked Republicans out of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee room to keep them from meeting when Democrats aren’t present.
Towns’ action came after repeated public ridicule from the leading Republican on the committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), over Towns’s failure to launch an investigation into Countrywide Mortgage’s reported sweetheart deals to VIPs.
For months Towns has refused Republican requests to subpoena records in the case. Last Thursday Committee Republicans, led by Issa, were poised to force an open vote on the subpoenas at a Committee mark-up meeting. The mark-up was abruptly canceled. Only Republicans showed up while Democrats chairs remained empty.
The Democrats kept those pesky Republicans from holding hearings by the simple expedient of locking the committee room's door. My favorite quote from the story:
Towns’s office said in a statement the locks were changed on Republicans "because they don't know how to behave."
I'd like to use this as an example of the Democratic party turning our country into a kleptocracy, but really this illustrates something even worse: there are too many lawyers in Congress. If only one of the committee members was a locksmith instead of a lawyer, we'd be halfway to investigating Countrywide's lending practices by now!
Friday, October 09, 2009
Oops, I meant to say that the details are here. I can't imagine what I was thinking.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
James Thurber wrote a wonderful autobiographical review of Dali's autobiography. It had the memorable line:
Let me be the first to admit that the naked truth about me is to the naked truth about Salvador Dali as an old ukulele in the attic is to a piano in a tree, and I mean a piano with breasts.
I read that line in a paperback collection hidden behind a textbook during French class in the seventh grade. The teacher was very annoyed at my giggling.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart,Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise?Who wouldst not leave him in his wanderingTo seek for treasure in the jeweled skies,Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car?And driven the Hamadryad from the woodTo seek a shelter in some happier star?Has thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,The Elfin from the green grass, and from meThe summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?
Saturday, August 22, 2009
According to the Colorado Daily, Justin Chentnik
a sous chef at a retirement home, says he was completely naked in bed about 4 a.m. Friday when Skip, the mini goldendoodle he was watching for friends, started barking up a storm. His friend and roommate, Laura Nelson, swore someone was in the house, but he told her to go back to bed.
Miss Nelson, who I think we can safely say is a force to be reckoned with, threw a glass of water in Justin's face and told him to go out and investigate the noise. Justin, still naked, went outside and saw someone attempting to steal Miss Nelson's car. Justin seemed to be less afraid of tackling a car thief in the buff than reporting failure to his roommate: he jumped into the passenger side of the moving car and wrestled the thief to the ground.
In the struggle, the thief hit Justin with a bottle of Louis Jadot Pinot Noir that he happened to be holding, but Justin managed to subdue him in the end. (I should pause and note that the thief, confronted by a naked man jumping into a moving car and wrestling him to the ground, had the presence of mind to grab a bottle of cheap wine as he was being dragged from the car. Could a fondness for alcohol explain why he took up a life of crime?)
The police arrived to find Justin still straddling the car thief's chest. Skip, the mini snickerdoodle, brought Justin his underwear so that the police didn't have to get a statement from a naked witness. The Daily's reporter, regretably, didn't follow up on this angle of the story. Is Skip trained to fetch Justin's underwear? Is this a common chore in their household? For that matter, why didn't Laura Nelson bring Justin's underwear out? It seems that, having given the dog Skip some underwear and instructing Skip to bring it to Justin, she had full confidence that her instructions would be carried out and saw no need to go herself. I suppose this gives us yet another brief insight into her masterful and enigmatic personality.
Saturday, August 01, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Now, about that planet Mars ...
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Aldrin's brief and private Christian service never caused a flap, but it could have. Aldrin has said that he planned to broadcast the service, but NASA at the last minute asked him not to because of concerns about a lawsuit filed (later dismissed) by atheist Madelyn Murray O'Hare after Apollo 8 astronauts read from Genesis while orbiting the moon at Christmas.
Don't think that there are worse things than censoring national heroes while they are actually in the process of risking their lives for humanity? Think again! Australian historian Roel Van Leeuwen had his thesis, Dreamers of the Dark: Kerry Bolton and the Order of the Left Hand Path, a Case-study of a Satanic New-Nazi Society removed from the University of Waikato's library for 8 months because, and I'm not making this up, there was concern that he was not being fair to the Nazis. After suppressing the thesis for the better part of a year, Waikato's Chancellor, and again I point out that I'm not making this up, told reporters that his insitution "was a place of academic rigour which did not shy away from tackling controversial research."
Ugh. Thank goodness we still have freedom to speak and write in the United States, huh?
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Now it seems that German forces consumed 90,000 bottles of wine and 1,700,000 liters of beer in Afghanistan alone. In a single year. (Most other countries' soldiers aren't allowed to consume alcohol in the war zone.)
Germany has only contributed 3,300 soldiers: so if they drink this much it may very well be that it's a good thing that they aren't doing more fighting.
- Gregory McCalium, who tried to rob an elderly man at knifepoint. The elderly man turned out to be a retired boxer and, well, you can guess the rest
- Ruth Madoff, who has been reduced to living on a measly $2,500,000
- Any parent selfish enough let a pet python into their home
- Married men who have "tragic love affairs"
- Anyone who doesn't like Mollie Sugden.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
For 40 years, the government has been observing the mirrors that were placed on the moon during this period, but alas the government has decided that the cost of the laser ranging (about $125,000 a year) is more than the science produced is worth.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Some photos that Aesop would have taken credit for, if he had a camera.
A photo that nobody would want to take credit for.
An essay that I really, really, really think isn't funny.
An exhibition that I'm too busy to go see.
An exhibition that's well worth running the gauntlet of the Frick's rude staff.
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced today that he has asked several companies -- packaging, beverage and food manufacturers -- to provide details about an apparent campaign to use fear tactics, political manipulation and misleading marketing to fight regulation of bisphenol A (BPA).
The Attorney General is supposed to uphold the laws of the State, so I suppose that now Mr. Blumenthal thinks that publicly disagreeing with him is unlawful. And if part of whatever suit he brings is that the manufacturers are using "fear tactics" and "political manipulation", is he going to call himself as an expert witness?
(hat tip to Walter Olson.)
Thursday, June 18, 2009
There are vocal qualities peculiar to men; and vocal qualities peculiar to beasts; and it is terrible to hear the one when the source should yield the other.
- Call of Cthulhu
trial by jury is a hallowed principle of the administration of criminal justice. It is properly identified as a right, available to be exercised by a defendant unless and until the right is amended or circumscribed by express legislation.
If a "right" that is available until amended or circumscribed strikes you as oxymoronic, well, that's what you get if you have a living constitution instead of a written one that's taken seriously.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Kim Jong Il is Illin'!The second was being worn by a teenager in Norwalk:
OK, so I took the road less travelled. Now where am I?
Friday, June 12, 2009
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Lawyer Reprimanded for Alleged 'Cut You Up' Remark to Adversary's Client(Via Overlawyered. The discipline, by the way, seems to have consisted of a written reprimand.)
The New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday disciplined a lawyer who allegedly told an opposing party, "I'm going to cut you up into bits and pieces, put you into a box and send you to India and your parents won't recognize you."
Friday, June 05, 2009
Shortly before 5:30 Sunday evening, Clemons, formerly Georgette Fogary, had just been married to Charles Clemons and was being driven from Testo's restaurant where the reception was held when she spotted smoke coming from the Eitelberg's home.What a way to begin a life together. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Clemons!
Hanifah Bost, who was driving the car, said Clemons suddenly yelled, "Stop the car, stop the car."
"There was smoke coming from this house and as soon as I stopped the car, Georgette got out in her wedding dress and ran toward the front door." She said Clemons ran through the smoke into the house and she ran after her.
"I don't know what she was thinking, she had just got married," Bost said.
Monday, June 01, 2009
It is not every 31-year-old who, in a first government job, finds himself dismantling General Motors and rewriting the rules of American capitalism.
But that, in short, is the job description for Brian Deese, a not-quite graduate of Yale Law School who had never set foot in an automotive assembly plant until he took on his nearly unseen role in remaking the American automotive industry
David Bernstein's observation:
It's funny, but just the other day I was telling my wife that I hope the automobile industry's future ... is in the hands of early 30-something political operatives working on law degrees from Yale who have no formal background in business, economics, engineering, or marketing.
“I was doing my job and being a citizen,” the 32-year-old deliveryman said. “Plus, I got $13 off the delivery. That’s not bad for a half an hour.”
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
In other words, if this is a typical year, then 73% of all Mass. elementary school teachers in the field don't know school mathematics.
According to the Boston Globe, Tom Scott, the executive director of the state association of school superintendents, thinks that this is because new teachers aren't getting a good college education:
If you look at transcripts of some applicants for elementary school teaching positions, it's possible you could see a transcript without anything math related. Someone could have last taken a math class in high school.This is not by any means a difficult test; if my fifth-grade teacher had given to me and I failed, my parents would have been very angry. Ironically though, my fifth-grade teacher probably had a real college degree instead of an "education" degree, so she wouldn't be allowed to teach nowadays anyway.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Monday, April 06, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
In light of this magnanimous gesture, his lawyers are asking the judge to force the prosecutors to drop the death penalty. As they explain:
The defense lawyers claim a guilty plea and a life sentence would end a process that could take an additional 10 to 15 years and cost state taxpayers millions of dollars.
"His guilty plea and sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of release would save Connecticut's taxpayers millions of dollars in desperately needed funds during this time of severe economic crisis in our state and our nation," they state.
What a nice guy!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen was just a few paragraphs into an address in Washington when he realised it all sounded a bit too familiar.
It was. He was repeating the speech President Barack Obama had just read from the same teleprompter.
Mr Cowen stopped, turned to the president and said: "That's your speech."
A laughing Mr Obama returned to the podium to take over but it seems the script had finally been switched and the US president ended up thanking himself for inviting everyone to the party.
Mr Obama is an accomplished orator but is becoming known in America as the "teleprompt president" over his reliance on the machine when he gives a speech.
(via Best of the Web.)
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Pages one and two had been salvaged by a Damogran Frond Crested Eagle and had already become incorporated into an extraordinary new form of nest which the eagle had invented. It was constructed largely of papier-mache and it was virtually impossible for a newly hatched baby eagle to break out of it. The Damogran Frond Crested Eagle had heard of the notion of survival of the species but wanted no truck with it.From the Associated Press:
HONG KONG (AP) - Even the magpies are trying to blend in in the metal and concrete jungle that is Hong Kong. News reports said that a pair of common magpies built a nest on a tree in Hong Kong's Tuen Mun district using scrap metal twigs believed to have been collected from a nearby construction site.
The Sunday Morning Post reported the metal nest was discovered after some of the twigs started falling off the tree and hitting pedestrians.
Monday, March 02, 2009
The boy, who had once been a member of the "Police Explorers" youth club, apparently showed up at a South Side police station wearing a regulation uniform and claiming to be an officer. A police spokeswoman said that a sergeant "later questioned the boy" and discovered he was not what he claimed to be. True, but according to at least one report, "later" turned out to be several hours later, and only after the "rookie" had been assigned a partner and ridden along on a patrol.Then in Berlin two weeks ago, two children pretending to be paramilitaries were mistaken for thieves at a factory.
And finally, the Austrian Times reports that the police thwarted a ruthless band of teenage desperadoes who were dressing up in police uniforms and stopping motorists for speeding.
The police in Austria seem to be more on-the-ball than the Chicago police: the teens were caught when they stopped an off-duty policeman, who arrested them. (I liked their judge's money line: "I cannot believe anyone believed you were cops. I would have had a laughing fit!" Judges rarely get to make zingers like that except on TV.)
What's going on here? Is there some TV show that featured kids dressing up as policemen that gave teenagers a similar bad idea in three countries at the same time? Or should we blame the parents? I guess if starts happening in Iran, they'll blame Harry Potter.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Friday, January 09, 2009
The CIA has reportedly killed Fahid Mohammed Ali Msalam and Sheikh Ahmed Salem Swedan in Northern Pakistan, only 7 years, 3 months and 21 days after the crimes of 9/11.
Drew M. at Ace of Spades' headline was: "Two Top Al Qaeda Figures Killed By Vicious New Year's Eve Hangovers And Hellfire Missiles But Mostly Hellfire Missiles."
Monday, January 05, 2009
I must have dozed off and skipped a page. Our new policy is to sell government bonds to raise cash to give to private equity firms to lend to non-creditworthy borrowers so they can drive new Chevy Suburbans down our crumbling roads and bridges, converting Middle East oil into greenhouse gases at the highest possible rate?
Thursday, January 01, 2009
The academic partiality in recent years for telling multiple stories in preference to the urgent single narrative, whatever its intellectual merits, has deprived beginning students of those coordinates of time and space by which they might take their bearings. After all, a fact unconnected with other facts is no fact at all but a snippet of trivia. It is hardly art history alone that suffers in this respect.
- Michael J. Lewis, from a book review in the New Criterion, December 2008 (p. 14.)