Utterly Meaningless » 2007 » January
  • CHRISTOFASCISM

    Filed on January 6, 2007 at 12:47 pm under by dcobranchi

    Mainstream Baptist points to an alarmist/alarming (take your pick) post on the Dominionist takeover of the US military and police forces.

    And yet we may be further down this road than we care to admit. Erik Prince, the secretive, mega-millionaire, right-wing Christian founder of Blackwater, the private security firm that has built a formidable mercenary force in Iraq, champions his company as a patriotic extension of the U.S. military. His employees, in an act as cynical as it is deceitful, take an oath of loyalty to the Constitution. These mercenary units in Iraq, including Blackwater, contain some 20,000 fighters. They unleash indiscriminate and wanton violence against unarmed Iraqis, have no accountability and are beyond the reach of legitimate authority.

    This last bit is no longer accurate.

    Amidst all the add-ins, pork spending, and excitement of the budget process, it has now come out that a tiny clause was slipped into the Pentagon’s fiscal year 2007 budget legislation. The one sentence section (number 552 of a total 3510 sections) states that “Paragraph (10) of section 802(a) of title 10, United States Code (article 2(a) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice), is amended by striking `war’ and inserting `declared war or a contingency operation’.” The measure passed without much notice or any debate. And then, as they might sing on School House Rock, that bill became a law (P.L.109-364).

    The addition of five little words to a massive US legal code that fills entire shelves at law libraries wouldn’t normally matter for much. But with this change, contractors’ ‘get out of jail free’ card may have been torn to shreds.

    Regardless, the military is a subsidiary of the State. As such, the Establishment Clause still applies. Anything that tends to imply that the military is a Christian organization needs to be shot down ASAP.

    LETTER OF THE DAY

    Filed on at 7:12 am under by dcobranchi

    I’m striving to maintain my reputation as a crank:

    Is the tax incentive deal a conflict of interest?

    Does it not strike the county commissioners as just a bit off that the Business Council negotiates tax incentives for E85 while Dr. Franklin Clark, a charter member of that same council, will benefit from selling the land to E85?

    If the Business Council were a government entity, that kind of deal would certainly be deemed a conflict of interest. Even for a private concern, it just looks awful.

    Daryl Cobranchi
    Fayetteville

    A PLOT DEVICE?

    Filed on January 5, 2007 at 8:38 pm under by dcobranchi

    An interesting quote from a review of the Christian thriller Thr3e:

    It’s worth noting that at least one plot point — a character is revealed to have been psychologically scarred, and perhaps sexually molested, while being home-schooled — may offend some members of the pic’s presumptive target aud.

    NATALIE’S A QUISLING!

    Filed on at 5:19 pm under by dcobranchi

    Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah!

    Mississippi home educators couldn’t hope for a better representative. Good luck, kid.

    FRIDAY CAT BLOGGING

    Filed on at 3:37 pm under by dcobranchi

    Cats
    As of tomorrow, we expect to have a couple of additions to the household. The cats have names, but we may re-christen them Bis and K’tuh (That’s Arabic, not Klingon). Both mean “cat.”

    OTOH

    Filed on January 4, 2007 at 6:04 am under by dcobranchi

    These ‘grafs (by Bruce Short writing at WND) set the new standard for anti-g-school snark.

    In their never-ending effort to “help” homeschoolers, public school bureaucrats periodically try to increase homeschooling regulations. This makes K-12 education perhaps a unique endeavor: it’s a field in which the failures regularly, and astonishingly, insist that they should be able to regulate the successful.

    Never mind that homeschoolers consistently outperform children institutionalized in government schools or that the longer a child is institutionalized in a government school the worse he does in relation to homeschooled children. Never mind, also, that international surveys of academic performance show that in the course of 12 years government schools manage to turn perfectly capable children into world-class dullards. No, the same education bureaucrats who consume an annual cash flow of roughly $600 billion to achieve previously unknown levels of semi-literacy and illiteracy among otherwise normal American children feel compelled from time to time to abandon their diligent pursuit of intellectual mediocrity to offer proposals for regulating homeschool parents.

    The latest outbreak of education bureaucrat compassion comes from Mississippi. There the Grand Panjandrum, indeed, the very Mikado of Mississippi education, Superintendent Hank Bounds, is working at creating a panel of Quisling homeschool parents to determine whether homeschool families should be further regulated.

    I’m not worthy!

    TOO FAR FOR WND?

    Filed on at 5:54 am under by dcobranchi

    I can’t tell if World Nut Daily (best nickname evah!) thinks this is a bad idea or not.

    A radio talk-show entertainer whose earlier statements that he “may” have to assassinate members of Congress if the wrong people were elected Nov. 7 now has set a timetable for those killings.

    In a statement on his website, Hal Turner noted that a newspaper has reported that a bill granting amnesty to illegal aliens is expected to be enacted in January, when the Democratic Party takes control of the U.S. Senate and House.

    “ANY MEMBER OF CONGRESS WHO INTRODUCES, CO-SPONSORS OR VOTES IN FAVOR OF ANY SUCH AMNESTY WILL BE DECLARED A DOMESTIC ENEMY AND WILL BE CONSIDERED A LEGITIMATE TARGET FOR ASSASSINATION,” Turner posted on his website.

    AUTISM AND VACCINES

    Filed on January 3, 2007 at 1:01 pm under by dcobranchi

    Wonder of wonders– the doctor whose “research” allegedly showed a causal link between the MMR vaccine and autism was on the take:

    ANDREW WAKEFIELD, the former surgeon whose campaign linking the MMR vaccine with autism caused a collapse in immunisation rates, was paid more than £400,000 by lawyers trying to prove that the vaccine was unsafe.

    The payments, unearthed by The Sunday Times, were part of £3.4m distributed from the legal aid fund to doctors and scientists who had been recruited to support a now failed lawsuit against vaccine manufacturers.

    …Wakefield’s work for the lawyers began two years before he published his now notorious report in The Lancet medical journal in February 1998, proposing a link between the vaccine and autism.

    Yeah, the fact that this is a huge conflict of interest doesn’t prove that his results were bogus. But it sure does call them into question. [Tip credit: COD]

    LETTER OF THE DAY

    Filed on at 6:22 am under by dcobranchi

    It’s not often one sees a LttE in such complete disarray:

    Home-schooling issue

    Jonathan Reid, Inman
    Published January 3, 2007

    I fully support a parent’s choice to home-school a child.

    The Herald-Journal states that public schools are sending the wrong message by excluding home-schoolers from extracurricular activities (“Equal access” editorial, Dec. 28 edition).

    The message being sent by home-schoolers is, “Your educators and administration are not good enough for our children’s education process, but you are more than welcome to coach them in sports or drama or some other activity.”

    I cannot imagine going through my high school or college years without playing sports or being in an extracurricular activity, and I agree with the Herald-Journal that we do need to find some way to involve home-schooled children. But legislation through the General Assembly is not the answer.

    Evidently, the g-schools in SC don’t teach thinking logically.

    DEUT. 18:22

    Filed on January 2, 2007 at 10:21 pm under by dcobranchi

    Pat Robertson is an embarrassment to the human race.

    The OT penalty for false prophecy was death.

    MICROSOFT SUCKS

    Filed on at 8:31 pm under by dcobranchi

    Maybe they’ll send me a laptop now?

    CONSERVATIVE HOMESCHOOLERS HATE MY HAT

    Filed on at 5:27 pm under by dcobranchi

    But they love bad science and astroturf groups.

    Science is apolitical!

    10 National Web Sites for Conservatives

    * 9. Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change – http://co2science.org

    The Center was created in January of 1998 as a non-profit, public charity dedicated to discovering and disseminating scientific information regarding the effects of atmospheric CO2 enrichment on climate and the biosphere.

    Central to the Center’s plan of accomplishing this goal has been the implementation of their web site. The web site is updated with a weekly issue of /CO2 Science/, which contains a new editorial and reviews of five different peer-reviewed scientific journal articles relating to various aspects of the global change debate, all of which are archived in a massive subject index.

    In addition, two new summaries of various subject index topics are produced and posted each week. Short synopses of newly-posted web site material are also provided via email to those who subscribe to the Center’s listserver.

    The Center encourages members of the media to reference the material they produce in order to help present balanced reports to the public.

    The Center attempts to separate reality from rhetoric in the emotionally-charged debate that swirls around the subject of carbon dioxide and global climate change.

    In addition, to help students and teachers gain greater insight into the biological aspects of this phenomenon, the Center maintains on-line instructions on how to conduct CO2 enrichment and depletion experiments in its Global Change Laboratory (located in its Education Center section), which allow interested parties to conduct similar studies in their own homes and classrooms. This is especially attractive for home-schoolers.

    TAKING A SHERMAN

    Filed on at 9:04 am under by dcobranchi

    I’m not sure what I did to deserve this “nomination,” but it is highly unlikely. Besides, I inhaled (a lot).

    A 2-YEAR-OLD TRADITION

    Filed on January 1, 2007 at 6:07 pm under by dcobranchi

    Unlike last year, Jonathan made it to midnight last night.

    ANOTHER GOOGLE MISLABEL

    Filed on at 4:21 pm under by dcobranchi

    Homeland Stupidity has another good rant on home education. The CoH plays a starring role.

    OFF TO A GOOD START

    Filed on at 1:33 pm under by dcobranchi

    The first APOD of the year is worth a click.

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