Utterly Meaningless » 2009 » April

    Filed on April 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm under by dcobranchi

    On this Spank Out Day the NC Gen’l Assembly tries to get in the spirit. But they really have a long way to go before they reach the 21st century.

    Children’s advocates are applauding a recent House vote that would give parents more say over paddling in schools.

    The state House on Monday approved a bill that would prohibit school officials from administering corporal punishment if the parent or guardian had given written notice that it could not be used.


    Filed on April 29, 2009 at 4:41 am under by dcobranchi

    Another episode of “Life in Fayetteville”

    Evolution is not true science

    Lewis Eubank in his April 9 letter, “Creationism a matter of faith, not science,” is only repeating the false and grossly misleading mantra that “creationism is religion and evolution is science.” If those opposing creation were honest, they would have to admit that evolution is not science, either.

    Science is usually defined as “knowledge covering general truth obtained and tested through scientific method.” To be true science, a theory must be testable, repeatable, observable and falsifiable. Macro evolution (the theory that one kind of organism evolves into a higher, more complex organism) fails on all four counts.

    Macro evolution is not testable — you can’t put a fish in a test tube and wait around a few million years to see what it changes into. It is not repeatable — no example of macro evolution has been shown to occur, much less be repeatable. Macro evolution has never been observed and is not falsifiable. If Eubank is academically honest, he must admit that macro evolution is not science.

    However, evolution breaks four fundamental “laws” of science and logic: the first law of thermodynamics, the second law of thermodynamics, the law of cause and effect, and the law of biogenesis. Creationism satisfies all four laws.

    If Eubank can cite one indisputable example of macro evolution where the organism increases in complexity and information, then please do so. Until then, please stop being dishonest or guidable and calling evolution science.

    Barry L. Byrd

    In this week of swine flu alerts, shouldn’t the wacko creationists lie low? A new strain of virus has evolved before our very eyes.

    Every single one of his claims has been thoroughly debunked a million times over. But the creationists continue to boldly repeat these enormous lies anyway. And they accuse scientists of being little better than Nazis.


    Filed on April 28, 2009 at 9:18 pm under by dcobranchi

    How else to explain these scientific data:

    For the first time, scientists have identified specific genetic mutations that lead to specific abnormalities in how brain cells communicate and carry messages in the brains of those with autism.

    [/snark] This is actually very interesting. A “cure” based on these results will be decades (or possibly forever) away. But now researchers have a road map to follow.

    Sadly, most of the comments are all about how vaccines are to blame.

    H/T: COD


    Filed on at 7:09 pm under by dcobranchi

    Another pretty pic today.


    Filed on at 2:37 pm under by dcobranchi

    How can a female come out against the Lilly Ledbetter Act? How could any rational human being?

    Oh, wait. They’re conservatives. Never mind.


    Filed on April 26, 2009 at 8:29 am under by dcobranchi

    Maybe the Pastafarians were right all along. Pic here.

    UPDATE: Good Lord! 🙂 The bidding is up to $842 $127.51.


    Filed on at 6:28 am under by dcobranchi

    I’m trying to get some attention for an Op/Ed published in my local paper today. The Op/Ed is a follow-up to an anti-gay-bashing bill that was defeated last year. I’ve linked to the piece at the other blog.

    If you feel so inclined, making a comment or two will eventually promote the post to the “Hot Topics” list where it will usually generate some discussion.



    Filed on April 25, 2009 at 6:02 pm under by dcobranchi

    Could there be any worse television viewing than Saturdays on SciFi?


    Filed on April 24, 2009 at 12:46 pm under by dcobranchi

    A: Just check their website.

    For the record, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act covers only physically violent hate crimes. Speech is not covered at all. But why let the facts get in the way of a Big Lie?

    UPDATE: More lies here. At least some of the commenters are clued in to OneNewsNow’s BS.


    Filed on April 23, 2009 at 8:56 pm under by dcobranchi

    Jesus Christ! Did Bush/Cheney really order the CIA to torture prisoners in order to obtain “confessions” that Saddam and al Qaeda were working together and justify invading? It looks like it.


    Filed on April 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm under by dcobranchi

    This bill, which would establish a commission to study allowing HEKs to participate in sports and other extracurriculars at NC g-schools, is interesting in and of itself. But I have absolutely no idea how the hell THIS happened:

    (1) Six members appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate as follows:
    a. Two members of the Senate;
    b. One public school principal;
    c. One member of a local board of education; and
    d. One representative of the Homeschool Alliance of North Carolina, Inc.

    HA-NC the secular group gets included and the much larger Christian group NCHE doesn’t!? What are they smoking in the Senate? And can I get some, please?


    Filed on at 3:21 am under by dcobranchi

    Just another citizen who can’t see that there’s a difference between school and Sunday school.

    Students could benefit from Bible study

    Let’s consider teaching the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible) in our public schools. Allow parents to select it for their children. Schools can teach it from a neutral theme. Study of the Pentateuch allows the examination of successes and failures of individuals, families and nations.

    We learn how one man received a covenant from a sovereign God yet suffered personal hardship when he stepped out on his own understanding. Although he returns to follow the leading of God, his indiscretions are believed to have worldwide implications today.

    The Pentateuch provides us with examples of how envy and strife within families can lead to pain, suffering and dysfunction. After suffering through the most troublesome times, it teaches us that love of family and forgiveness can endure the most grievous pain. One family member persevered through jealousy and personal hardship only to rise to enormous power.

    Finally, it concludes with a nation receiving divine laws and regulation from a sovereign God. Their obedience would allow them to enjoy the favor of an all-sufficient God.

    God’s favor would include an inheritance, long life, prosperity and good health. Disobedience would lead to defeat, living in fear and indebtedness.

    Each of our lives has a designed purpose. Whether we realize or when we reach our destiny often depends on whether we obey civil, military and ethical rules derived from Biblical laws. Let’s provide our children with Biblical standards to develop future rules of law.

    Roy Ellis

    I could actually go for this if the schools can teach Judaic mythology like they do the Greek. Keep it very lighthearted. Kind of laugh at how all of the stories are attempts by ancient peoples to impose order on a chaotic world. And then point out how we’ve all outgrown that kind of myth-making.

    But, somehow, I doubt my idea of “neutral” would line up with Mr. Ellis’.


    Filed on April 20, 2009 at 5:30 am under by dcobranchi

    This LttE is fairly typical of my neighbors’ beliefs. I think I might have to destroy it on the other blog.

    Signal dissatisfaction through your vote

    Most Americans want the government to get out of the way. You would think that life in America has changed.

    The election of a far-left-leaning president proves that. Obama’s goals are: Make 51 percent of the electorate depend on government handouts and he and his party would continue to hold power forever.

    Second, subject American sovereignty to a world financial, then a political, system, and we can already see the beginnings of that in the G-20 summit.

    Third, weaken our military might by cutting defense spending in favor of buying votes, and the stimulus bill, being a gigantic pork bill, certainly proves that along with substantial proposed defense budget cuts in next year’s budget resolution.

    Fourth, fix the census figures so they favor constituents who are the most likely supporters. And, who is in charge of the census? Is it the Department of Commerce, as required by the Constitution? No, the White House is in charge of the census. Lastly, the president and his party, believing in a “living constitution,” have ignored, circumvented and outright violated that document that has kept this nation great.

    What can we do? There are elections coming up in November 2010 and all House members and a third of the Senate have to run. We should send this message by our votes: We do not want government in our lives; we want less government and we want tax and spending cuts now!

    John S. Pasztor


    Filed on April 19, 2009 at 3:51 pm under by dcobranchi

    With the exception of the mention of Columbine, this article could have easily been written a decade ago. I really doubt that society is that negative on home education. And are we really still fighting the socialization wars?


    Filed on April 17, 2009 at 5:37 am under by dcobranchi

    or at least those representing us in DC did.

    War crimes trials are the only appropriate step at this point.

    More here.


    Filed on April 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm under by dcobranchi

    TX Gov. Rick Perry is threatening to have his state secede (again) over the stimulus package. Great idea! But why couldn’t they have done it before Bush became president? Would have saved us all a lot of trouble.


    Filed on at 5:18 am under by dcobranchi


    Filed on April 12, 2009 at 7:11 pm under by dcobranchi

    660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer

    If you like Indian food you are absolutely crazy if this cookbook doesn’t occupy a prominent place on your shelf. Lydia got it for Christmas and we’re at least 50 curries into it. So far not a single loser among the bunch.


    Filed on at 12:01 pm under by dcobranchi

    It’s Easter week and that means the big newsweeklies have to go all out for religion. Newsweek goes with the post-Christian America theme, and it’s mostly good. But it still assumes that a belief in god(s) is a natural result of being human. I think, instead, it’s just a natural function of indoctrination from the youngest of ages.

    As an observant (if deeply flawed) Episcopalian, I disagree with many of Hitchens’s arguments—I do not think it is productive to dismiss religious belief as superstitious and wrong…

    America, then, is not a post-religious society—and cannot be as long as there are people in it, for faith is an intrinsic human impulse. The belief in an order or a reality beyond time and space is ancient and enduring.

    If I told Meacham that I believed in Zeus and Athena and just knew that thunder signified that the gods were angry, would he dismiss my beliefs as superstitious and wrong? So why is a belief in the Christian god privileged? And what if I told him that I have no beliefs in gods? I guess that means I’m something less than human. Or maybe superhuman?

    The whole piece is worth a read. Just keep in mind Meacham’s rather limited POV.


    Filed on April 11, 2009 at 2:08 pm under by dcobranchi

    My congressman, Rep. Mike McIntyre (DINO-NC), is a co-sponsor of HSLDA’s pro-spanking constitutional amendment.

    UPDATE: The email I sent to our county party chair:

    Please won’t SOMEONE primary his ass?


    Mike McIntyre co-sponsored the far right “Pro spanking amendment!” He’s the only Dem to do so.

    I’m a homeschooler and long an activist. I was a statewide officer in DE’s homeschool lobby group. This bill is NOT needed. It’s not wanted. It’s bad law. It’s immoral. And McIntyre supports it???

    Daryl Cobranchi
    Pissed off Democrat in NC-07

    UPDATE II: My email to McIntyre:

    If you’re going to co-sponsor stupid GOP constitutional amendments (the only DEM to do so, BTW, according to http://parentsrights.us/), please just go ahead and switch parties. You are embarrassing the Democratic party.

    I’m a longtime homeschooler. This amendment is not needed or wanted. You’re being played for a fool by Michael Farris and the other Dominionists who would turn the USA into a theocracy with themselves as the clergy.


    Filed on at 1:16 pm under by dcobranchi

    Home ed is not even mentioned here. Baby steps but I’ll take ’em.


    Filed on April 10, 2009 at 4:06 pm under by dcobranchi

    I’m not buying another Ford until I have the opportunity to buy the European-spec Fiesta.


    Filed on April 9, 2009 at 6:02 pm under by dcobranchi

    Very strange local story that may or may not be school related:

    FAIRMONT — A middle school principal was shot in the face this morning, according to school officials.

    James Hunt, principal at Fairmont Middle School, was shot with a shotgun, said Al Kahn, a spokesman with the Public Schools of Robeson County. School officials were told the shooting happened about 7:30 a.m. on Davis Road. Hunt was on his way to work…

    Hunt left home in a white Jeep Cherokee about 6:45 a.m. He was traveling down the 1700 block of Davis Road when a vehicle pulled up beside him, said Sheriff Kenneth Sealey.

    “Mr. Hunt heard a loud blast then he realized that he had been shot,’’ Sealey said. “He turned around and drove himself to the hospital.’’


    Filed on April 8, 2009 at 3:46 am under by dcobranchi

    NC is getting ready to offer parents a choice for sex ed in school:

    1) Comprehensive sex ed
    2) Abstinence only sex ed
    3) No sex ed at all

    And this is an improvement over the existing law.

    The Republicans, as usual, aren’t happy:

    In a vote falling mostly on party lines, the committee rejected a Republican request to take the word “only” out of a description of the abstinence-based curriculum: “abstinence only until marriage.”

    Bill Brooks, president of the socially and Christian conservative Family Policy Council, said after the committee meeting that the word “only” in the description is bad, that it will push parents away from the abstinence curriculum and toward the comprehensive program.

    “The way it’s written in the bill is a pejorative term,” Brooks said. “You get the form home for your child and it says ‘abstinence-only’ or ‘comprehensive sex education,’ well, what sounds better? Well, certainly I want my child to have the best. I don’t want him to have just ‘only.’”

    AO is the name. Jeez!


    Filed on April 7, 2009 at 7:57 pm under by dcobranchi

    A.L. has a post on the topic that is well worth a read.

    And for a comical counter-point, my favorite wackos on the extreme right have a pretty hysterical (in both meanings of the word) response to the scourge of “same” “sex” “marriage” “in” “Vermont.”


    Filed on April 6, 2009 at 7:02 pm under by dcobranchi

    The co-founder of Pollster.com believes that homeschoolers could make a difference in the race for the head of the Wisconsin g-schools.

    “One of the advantages of home schoolers is that they tend to connect with one another — they share websites and emails — and as a result they’re more connected to one another and that could conceivably have an effect of raising turnout among people who are particularly concerned for alternative schooling in the state.”

    Franklin says home-schoolers are withdrawn from the traditional brick and mortar public schools, but not from the state — they have a huge network of friends, community, curricula websites, and support from organizations, all in favor of alternative education.

    “Whether that’s enough to make a big difference in the election remains to be seen.”

    Sorry, but I’m not buyin’ it. I just don’t see a bunch of homeschoolers getting all riled up over which educrat is in charge. We left all that behind us, right?


    Filed on April 5, 2009 at 7:10 am under by dcobranchi

    My local paper today leads with a review of the mass killings at the Carthage, NC nursing home (Carthage is about an hour away). The scary bit is that this is really old news. Since Carthage, there was the Binghamton, NY rampage and then yesterday’s murder of three policemen in Pittsburgh.

    I hope this isn’t the start of something much worse.


    Filed on April 4, 2009 at 3:58 pm under by dcobranchi

    The Christian Right is imploding. So says none other than Exodus Mandate’s E. Raymond Moore:

    “It’s hard to admit defeat, but this one was self-inflicted,” he wrote in an e-mail. “Yes, Dr. Dobson and the pro-family or Christian right political movement is a failure; it would have made me sad to say this in the past, but they have done it to themselves.”


    Filed on at 1:59 pm under by dcobranchi

    CNN has a story about some ridiculous price declines on homes in CA:

    Next door to the Lepleys are Frank and Leslie Aceves. They are in the midst of a different situation. They are trying to “short sell” their house in order to avoid foreclosure and lose everything to the bank.

    The couple has two children, ages 10 and 3, and they bought their 3,500 square-foot home for $620,000 a few years ago. A house about the same size across the street recently went for $267,000.

    “We just didn’t think it would happen,” Leslie Aceves says of the massive drop in prices. “We just thought it would stop somewhere.”

    Neighbors Shane Latham and Kathy Valdez, a couple in their 20s, bought their house for $220,000 — nearly $300,000 less than what it was a couple of years ago. “We’ve got to feel for people,” Latham says.


    Filed on at 11:21 am under by dcobranchi

    Papa Murphy’s Pizza is advertising heavily in NC looking for suckers franchisees. Their gimmick is that they don’t bake the pizza; the customer takes it home and bakes it in her oven. They also don’t deliver.

    It seems to me that a potential customer would probably drive by a couple of grocery stores on the way to the pizzeria. Last time I checked, every grocery store in the universe carries frozen pizza.

    So what, exactly, does Papa Murphy’s bring to the table? This Take ‘N’ Bake pizza seems like an idea about 50 years too late.

    UPDTAE: For only $200-$350k you can be the next sucker franchisee. Sign me up!


    Filed on April 3, 2009 at 7:00 pm under by dcobranchi

    You would think that a lawyer at Liberty University would be familiar with that rather famous case.

    Stupid quote of the day.

    Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University’s Law School, had this reaction. “These activist judges are no more than proselytizing engines of social change,” he offers. “That’s not the role of a judge. They are to be umpires merely calling the balls or strikes. They don’t rewrite the definition of marriage.” And they do not go against the will of the people, he adds.


    Filed on at 4:47 pm under by dcobranchi

    An example of Zero Intelligence in DE.

    A fifth-grader who brought a serrated knife to school to cut a cake will not be prosecuted, a state police spokesman said.


    The student’s teacher at Leasure Elementary School used the student’s knife Wednesday to cut a vanilla cake with white frosting that the girl brought to share with classmates.

    After handing out the slices, the teacher promptly turned the girl in for bringing a “deadly weapon” to school, her parents said.

    The teacher used a deadly weapon. At the very least she ought to be suspended without pay. I think I night or two in jail for gross stupidity would be even better.

    H/T: Traci


    Filed on April 2, 2009 at 6:35 pm under by dcobranchi

    for this unfortunate, food-allergic kid’s mom. Y’all can probably guess what it is.

    I’M “UNSURE”

    Filed on at 5:43 pm under by dcobranchi

    how I feel about the German homeschoolers seeking asylum in the US. Amazingly, only 2 in 3 of the wackos at OneNewsNow voted “yes” in this poll. Usually, they toe the company line in the 95+% range.

    GINGRICH ’12

    Filed on at 5:36 pm under by dcobranchi

    Because the last 8 years of idiocy in the WH weren’t enough:

    Author and political commentator Newt Gingrich of American Solutions calls President Obama’s tax program a “war against churches and charities.” Gingrich accuses President Obama of “deliberately” trying to take away the charitable deduction for successful people so they will not give as much money to churches or charities.

    “I think there’s a clear to desire to replace the church with a bureaucracy, and to replace people’s right to worship together with a government-dominated system,” he contends.

    DFH, II

    Filed on at 5:37 am under by dcobranchi

    Got this in an email from GRIST:


    The Grass Isn’t Always Greener
    A reader asks: Is it better to buy locally grown marijuana that may have been fed with chemicals, or organic pot from far away? Grist ag sleuth Lou Bendrick tracks down an

    Why not grow your own organic?