Utterly Meaningless » 2007 » December

    Filed on December 31, 2007 at 5:01 pm under by dcobranchi

    When you have the editors of Fortune magazine going after you, you’re doing something right. And what does it say about the gurus at Fortune that they run their magazine’s blog on a free site?

    UPDATE: Time piles on, too. Good! Klein is an almost perfect negative indicator.


    Filed on at 2:49 pm under by dcobranchi

    I’ve tried to do right thing. I’ve taught the kids that sharing music is stealing and that if they want to have some music on their MP3 players, they need to do it legally by either purchasing it from iTunes or ripping it from a CD that they own. Scratch that last one. The RIAA now says that ripping is illegal piracy.

    [I]n an unusual case in which an Arizona recipient of an RIAA letter has fought back in court rather than write a check to avoid hefty legal fees, the industry is taking its argument against music sharing one step further: In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.

    The industry’s lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are “unauthorized copies” of copyrighted recordings.

    “I couldn’t believe it when I read that,” says Ray Beckerman, a New York lawyer who represents six clients who have been sued by the RIAA. “The basic principle in the law is that you have to distribute actual physical copies to be guilty of violating copyright. But recently, the industry has been going around saying that even a personal copy on your computer is a violation.”

    Fuck ’em. No more iTunes. No more CD purchases.


    Filed on December 30, 2007 at 11:12 pm under by dcobranchi

    Jon Swift kindly allowed members of his blogroll to submit a nomination for their best post of 2007. Mimi (both the person and the bottling line) was my choice. Lots of really good reads there. One to bookmark.

    HAPPY 13th 14th, KATELYN

    Filed on at 6:36 pm under by dcobranchi



    Filed on December 26, 2007 at 6:50 am under by dcobranchi

    I’m off to visit relatives. Blogging will resume on Sunday.

    Y’all come back now.


    Filed on at 6:49 am under by dcobranchi

    Devoid of facts. Confused in his rhetoric. And a violation of Godwin’s Law. Worth a read for the sheer entertainment value.


    Filed on at 6:42 am under by dcobranchi

    The Huckster wants a federal push for homeschooling?

    would replace the progressive income tax with a more regressive national sales tax. His major education reform would not be more federal spending on teachers or preschool, but more arts education, stricter teacher testing and a new federal push for home schooling or charter schools.

    What exactly does that mean? ANd does HSLDA know about this?


    Filed on at 6:14 am under by dcobranchi

    according to my local paper.

    In choosing this course, the VA passed on a chance to establish a second interfaith room. In effect, the VA has trampled on the needs of Christian and Catholic veterans in order to meet the requirements of some unidentified third party that would be offended by the presence of a cross and Bible.

    It is curious that the Army has not followed the same course. It clearly has more religious persuasions to accommodate than the VA. There are more than 100 nations and virtually every religion represented in the Army. Yet the Army has elected to preserve its Christian (and Catholic) traditions while adjusting, as appropriate, to the needs of others. No one has protested the way that things have been done at Fort Bragg.


    Filed on December 24, 2007 at 3:46 pm under by dcobranchi

    to the US Constitution. Become a card-carrying member of the ACLU.



    Filed on at 8:23 am under by dcobranchi


    Filed on at 8:21 am under by dcobranchi

    Full moon on a foggy morning


    Filed on at 7:34 am under by dcobranchi

    Water bottles containing the endocrine-disrupter Bisphenol A.


    Filed on December 23, 2007 at 7:56 pm under by dcobranchi

    By way of Joanne Jacobs, Seven Random Things About Me.

    1) I had three serious girlfriends in my life (including Lydia). Two of them (including Lydia) had the same birthday, May 20th.

    2) I was the worst tennis player on the worst high school team in our conference. Still lettered, though.

    3) I think it’d be very cool (pun intended) to live in a cave. Or in an old rehabbed schoolhouse.

    4) If I could change careers I’d love to be a photographer. Unfortunately, I don’t have any talent in that area.

    5) I’ve umpired baseball up through American Legion ball. My partner, who had been a AAA umpire, and I once tossed both coaches in a championship game.

    6) Like Joanne, I sang in an a cappella group (2nd bass). Unlike Joanne, I had to sing in tights, as it was an early music group.

    7) When I was in high school I scored in the 95+ percentile in every category on the ASVAB except one. The one category I bombed in was “Attention to Detail.” So the Army recommended I become a file clerk. Second choice was a truck mechanic.

    Now I’m supposed to tag seven others. But since I never follow the rules (and probably don’t know seven bloggers to tag) the following will have to suffice:

    1. COD
    2. Yule
    3. Sam who, contrary to rumor, is a he
    4. Ron and/or Andrea
    5. Carlotta
    6. Don


    Filed on at 6:53 am under by dcobranchi

    Glenn Greenwald has a must-read on why Mitt Romney should not be allowed to even visit the White House.


    Filed on December 22, 2007 at 5:44 pm under by dcobranchi

    I’m pretty sure this isn’t what Jesus intended.


    Filed on at 1:19 pm under by dcobranchi

    A BU professor emeritus evidently thinks (conservative Christian) “Homers” will be the saviors of America.


    Filed on December 21, 2007 at 8:55 pm under by dcobranchi

    The kids got their big present early. It definitely lives up to the hype. Bonus features that I was unaware of: 1) It has built-in WiFi. This worked flawlessly. It not only found our network on the first try, but it found our neighbor’s, too. 🙂 Downloading the firmware update was a bit slow, but it worked the way it is supposed to and 2) It has an SD slot for uploading jpegs and MP3s. The slide show looked surprisingly good on a standard def TV.

    PWNED BY A 7 YO (HEK?)

    Filed on at 11:41 am under by dcobranchi

    Dollars to donuts that the young girl who just burned The Huckster is an HEK:

    “Who is your favorite author?” Aleya Deatsch, 7, of West Des Moines asked Mr. Huckabee in one of those posing-like-a-shopping-mall-Santa moments.

    Mr. Huckabee paused, then said his favorite author was Dr. Seuss.

    In an interview afterward with the news media, Aleya said she was somewhat surprised. She thought the candidate would be reading at a higher level.

    “My favorite author is C. S. Lewis,” she said.


    Filed on December 20, 2007 at 3:46 pm under by dcobranchi

    On this 25th anniversary of the release of Michael Jackson’s “Thriiler,” economist Paul Krugman tells a real horror story– his predictions for how the housing bubble deflates. The talk runs about 50 minutes with an additional 20 minutes of Q&A.

    And for the folks who always skip ahead to the last chapter– he figures a 30% decline in housing prices nationwide (50% in the most “bubblicious” markets) lasting well into the next decade.


    Filed on at 9:37 am under by dcobranchi

    An interesting post at Mainstream Baptist. Michael Farris plays a starring role.


    Filed on at 7:33 am under by dcobranchi

    This new anonymously-written HE blog is worth subbing to. I have my suspicions who’s behind it but will keep them to myself.


    Filed on at 7:14 am under by dcobranchi

    After reading this article I received a revelation that these people are loons. If I told them that in my revelation I saw that they were also supposed to give me all their stuff do you think they would?


    Filed on December 19, 2007 at 7:01 pm under by dcobranchi

    COD tipped me to this completely (and irresponsibly) misleading anti-vaccine piece. Yes, not every infection leads to cancer. But virtually all cases of cervical cancer are linked to two strains of the virus that the vaccine protects against.

    Does Mike Adams hate women so much that he’s willing to mislead some of them into unnecessarily developing cervical cancer?


    Filed on at 7:52 am under by dcobranchi

    Word of the Year– W00t!

    I’m sure the folks at woot.com are happy.


    Filed on at 6:45 am under by dcobranchi

    Texas may be the first state to recognize a Master’s degree in creationism education. Seriously.

    Science teachers are not allowed to teach creationism alongside evolution in Texas public schools, the courts have ruled. But that’s exactly what the Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research wants them to do.

    The institute is seeking state approval to grant an online master’s degree in science education to prepare teachers to “understand the universe within the integrating framework of Biblical creationism,” according to the school’s mission statement.

    Last week, an advisory council made up of university educators voted to recommend the program for approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, sparking an outcry among science advocates who have fended off attempts by religious groups to insert creationism into Texas classrooms… The majority of the school’s 54 students are teachers at private Christian schools or homeschoolers, but some are public school teachers looking to advance their careers or pass the Texas teacher licensing examination in science.

    G-school teachers get raises and are promoted faster when they have advanced degrees.


    Filed on December 18, 2007 at 6:27 pm under by dcobranchi

    Yeah, I actually am doing the Carnival post on the day it’s released. Sue me. I haven’t read through any of the carnival posts (Truth be told, I rarely do) but I noticed that Amy Grant has submitted one. I’m pretty sure it’s not that Amy Grant, but I thought maybe we could get not that Chris O’Donnell and not that Amy Grant to collaborate on a post and/or music video. Or how ’bout a YouTube carnival post? It’d be a first, I’m sure. Yeah!!! Are there any other not famous homeschoolers with famous names we could recruit?

    Anyway, the CoH is here.


    Filed on at 4:39 pm under by dcobranchi

    An interesting tale of a news anchor dealing with vitiligo


    Filed on at 3:26 pm under by dcobranchi

    Because Doc’s right.


    Homeschoolers for Edwards
    Homeschoolers for Obama
    Homeschoolers for Hillary
    Homeschoolers for Kucinich
    Homeschoolers for Dodd
    Homeschoolers for Richardson
    Homeschoolers for Gravel

    Did I miss anyone? 🙂


    Filed on at 1:36 pm under by dcobranchi

    This really is a significant victory. Blogs led the effort to push Dodd into (and support him for) placing a hold and then filibustering the odious retroactive immunity for the telcos. They broke the law. Just because it will be inconvenient for the Bush admin to have their role in that lawbreaking exposed in a court of law is no reason for the Senate to do damage to the Constitution.


    My internet team tells me you were part of the effort to stop retroactive immunity yesterday.

    I’m told that 506,000 emails were sent to the Senate.

    That must have been what Majority Leader Reid was talking about when he said he received thousands of messages this week on immunity.

    It goes to show that when you are clear about what you stand for, understand how to get things done, and have the support of well meaning Americans, you can get results for the American people.

    As soon as I got home last night, I recorded a short video about our collaborative effort, and a little insight as to how far I would have gone.

    Take a look.


    While we won a major battle yesterday to prevent the further erosion of the Constitution, there is still work to be done.

    When the Senate gets back from the holiday recess, we’ll take up the FISA bill again. And I am prepared to go to the mat once more to protect the Constitution.

    But we shouldn’t wait until then. We have a window right now to lobby your representatives to stand up to George Bush, and drop immunity from the bill before it is brought back up.

    There’s more in the video I recorded last night, so please take a look and share it with your friends.


    Finally, among the thousands of messages we’ve received, a lot of people have asked how they can help the campaign in these closing weeks.

    Contributing to the campaign will enable us to bring on more staff to reach deep into Iowa, spreading our message of real leadership that will end the war in Iraq, and restore the Constitution.

    You can watch the video and contribute here.


    Happy holidays, and know that stopping this bill is the best gift we could have given the country yesterday.

    Chris Dodd


    Filed on at 12:04 pm under by dcobranchi

    Kevin sent me an email this morning. My 15 seconds of fame. 🙂

    Dear Daryl,

    Last weekend, I was proud to travel through Iowa with John Edwards during his “Main Street Express” bus tour as he met with caucus goers and discussed his specific ideas for providing universal health care, ending the war in Iraq, stopping global warming, and taking back our government from the powerful corporations and special interests who run it.

    Now, I am happy to help him kick off his final push before the caucuses. Today, John’s campaign is launching a great new video you really should check out. It’s a movie trailer, actually — a preview of all that will be possible when John is our next president:


    With only 16 days left until the caucuses, it’s critical that we all step up and help John Edwards right away. This is a crucial time in American history — and we need real change. In the past, I’ve felt that I haven’t always stepped out as soon or as actively as I should have. But now, after getting to know John, and getting to hear his strong dream and strong plan for our country, I’ve decided to join him and do everything I can to help.

    It was exciting to see the growing energy behind John while I traveled with him over the weekend. Iowans were coming out by the hundreds to meet him, listen to what he had to say, and ask him tough questions about his plans for our country. And I was thrilled to hear that, just yesterday, John received the endorsement of a wonderful Iowa leader — First Lady Mari Culver. It’s clear that John is gaining momentum across the state, but he needs help from all of us now to keep that momentum going.

    Additionally, the latest polls show John Edwards as being the one Democrat who can defeat all of the Republicans running for president.

    So please take a minute to watch this powerful movie trailer and then pass it along to your friends and tell them how critical it is that we all step up to help John during these final days:


    Thank you for joining me in supporting John Edwards. I am confident that when he is in the White House, he’ll be a leader we will all be proud to call our president.

    Have happy and healthy holidays,

    –Kevin Bacon
    December 18, 2007


    Filed on December 17, 2007 at 5:47 pm under by dcobranchi

    The Panda’s Thumb is reporting that the home educator chosen to lead SC’s Board of Ed is a YEC. Ugh. That info comes directly from the Institute for Creation Research:

    Dr. Duane Gish was one of the speakers at the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church of Fountain Inn, South Carolina, on Saturday evening, June 1. Also speaking were Dr. Donald DeYoung, President of the Creation Research Society, Professor of Physics at Grace College of Winona Lake, Indiana, and also an adjunct professor of ICR; Dr. Tony Beam, pastor of the church, and the host of the radio talk show, “Top of the Morning” on Radio WLFJ; and Kristin Maguire, an articulate young-earth creationist, an engineer, and a member of the South Carolina Board of Education.


    Filed on at 4:39 am under by dcobranchi

    This has to be the funniest LttE yet.

    Schools’ Bible decision is sickening

    I am a product of Cumberland County Schools (Douglas Byrd High School class of 1979), and I was sickened and outraged to read of the response of the county school system attorney and administration to one ill-informed complaint (“Elementary school Bible distribution halted,” Nov. 20.)

    My husband is a Gideon, and having personal knowledge of the good work that they do allows me to know that they never force anyone to take a Testament or Bible. These are offered, free of charge and without pressure, as a love gift. It’s a shame that now the students who might want one but not be able to afford one or have access to one will be denied because of one person’s prejudice and hatred.

    Bet she hasn’t complained about any of the free literature (sexual related “informational” pamphlets) or other free items such as condoms that are so readily purchased with taxpayer money and foisted upon our youth.

    This lady should be glad and pray to whatever she gives thanks to that she is in this country rather than in some others in the world, which force one ideology upon all citizens. The same freedom that gives her the right to complain also gives the Gideons the right to place their materials and speak. Freedom of speech and religion is a two-edged sword, and I hope that the school leadership goes back to school for a quick civics lesson to overturn their asinine ruling. I am truly ashamed and will be removing my DBHS class ring until this is changed.

    Bess Tyner

    OMG! Not the class ring! OTOH, if this is indicative of how well she learned what the Establishment Clause means, perhaps the school will be glad to know that she is no longer a walking billboard.


    Filed on December 16, 2007 at 10:22 am under by dcobranchi

    Is this the best evidence that God exists? ID and some other creationist claptrap? Pretty weak tea, IMO.

    And if you really want to be “evil,” you can click on the “Is there a God?” ad in the sidebar —>.


    Filed on at 10:11 am under by dcobranchi


    Jinx has been helping me with the blog this a.m.

    UPDATE: She detected a problem with the WiFi router and got right on it. Who says you can’t get good help these days?



    Filed on at 9:48 am under by dcobranchi

    My favorite newspaper is just full of prophetic good news today.


    Filed on at 8:27 am under by dcobranchi

    The MSM is picking up on the Denver shooter’s homeschool connection. This Denver Post piece is surprisingly sympathetic.


    Filed on at 8:18 am under by dcobranchi

    It’s not always about the Nazis.

    This story out of Utah, if being reported accurately by WND (a BIG if), is troubling. I really don’t understand WND’s obsession. There was absolutely no reason to attempt to tie it to the German homeschoolers’ situation.


    Filed on at 6:39 am under by dcobranchi

    Poor Huck. Couldn’t happen to a nicer theocrat.

    What will Farris do when his anointed one is destroyed?


    Filed on at 6:16 am under by dcobranchi

    Let’s have a scientifically literate President. Huck might as well not show up.


    Filed on December 15, 2007 at 8:37 am under by dcobranchi

    The folks at NASA are on a roll.


    Filed on at 8:17 am under by dcobranchi

    A fellow heathen atheist home educator (Thanks, Chris!) tipped me off to this interesting article about how celebrating Christmas was disdained by many Protestant denominations through the late 19th century:

    “People don’t think of it this way, but it’s really a secular holiday,” said Foster, a Princeton-based pastor in the United Church of God. He last celebrated Christmas when he was 8.

    His church’s objection to Christmas is rare among U.S. Christians. Gallup polls from 1994 to 2005 consistently show that more than 90 percent of adults say they celebrate Christmas, including 84 percent of non-Christians.

    That’s a huge change from an earlier era, when many Protestants ignored or actively opposed the holiday. But as it gradually became popular as a family celebration, churches followed their members in making peace with Christmas.

    The change didn’t happen overnight. Through much of the 19th century, schools and businesses remained open, Congress met in session and some churches closed their doors, lest errant worshippers try to furtively commemorate the day.

    I think I just might need to tip off a FOOLish blogger about this.


    Filed on December 14, 2007 at 7:18 pm under by dcobranchi

    NJ is now requiring pre-schoolers to get the flu and pneumococcal vaccines.


    Filed on at 6:49 pm under by dcobranchi

    Toni has an interesting post on religious extremism and our response to it. This is an extremely challenging topic. Where does one draw the line? After all, Rob Reich would argue that we’re all guilty of indoctrinating our kids and that they ought to be exposed (by government agents, of course) to alternative viewpoints. My own belief is that this particular slope is so slippery that the only safe move is to stay far away from the edge.


    Filed on at 6:48 am under by dcobranchi

    And the “debate” rages on:

    Banning Bibles could spread beyond classroom

    I’m not a trouble-maker, but when there is a complaint about the Bible being placed in the elementary school classrooms, I think it is the beginning of this happening, not only in the elementary schools, but in high school and college as well. Maybe even the churches.

    People had better wake up to the changes that are being made in this country before it is too late.

    I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m prepared to go to a better place when I leave this one. I know that people who believe this are considered to be freaks, but, believe me, one day they will see, although it might be too late.

    Thank you for giving people the opportunity to say what’s on their minds concerning this matter.

    Reba Edge

    Nation is headed down slippery slope

    I would like to say a loud “Amen” to the letters written by Louis Spilman Jr. (“Christians should stand up for beliefs”) and Carolyn W. Kirby (“Expelling God has created turmoil”) that ran in the Letters to The Observer on Dec. 3.

    I’d like to ask Christians how much longer are they going to sit quietly by and allow our rights to be taken away. Prayer in schools, God’s name from public places, Bibles in schools. What is next? Jail, for speaking God’s name?

    If we want to live in a heathen nation, just sit back and keep quiet. We are headed that way like a snowball on a snowy slope.

    Lola Hales

    UPDATE: I’ve been meaning to point out this post in the FOOL (Fayetteville Observer On Line– good name, huh?) by a recent candidate for Fayetteville City Council. As you might guess from the comments, she and I rarely see eye-to-eye.


    Filed on at 6:19 am under by dcobranchi

    Pretty good Op/Ed. Just don’t plan on running for office.


    Filed on December 13, 2007 at 9:28 pm under by dcobranchi

    of the homeschool angle currently in play in the GOP race to see who’ll get trounced in the general.


    Filed on at 10:23 am under by dcobranchi

    I haven’t done one of these in a while. Today’s pic is very cool.


    Filed on December 12, 2007 at 3:38 pm under by dcobranchi

    Sad but sadly accurate cartoon care of MoveOn.org


    Filed on December 11, 2007 at 5:39 pm under by dcobranchi

    Jon Swift. But read it anyway. Those are our tax dollars at work.



    Filed on at 7:24 am under by dcobranchi

    Sunday’s article has disappeared. Maybe this one will be a permalink.

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