Utterly Meaningless » 2006 » July

    Filed on July 9, 2006 at 10:10 am under by dcobranchi

    now might be a good time to ask for forgiveness for what we’ve wrought.


    Filed on at 6:41 am under by dcobranchi

    Keep an eye on this candidate for governor. He has some dangerous ideas:

    The candidate talked about the “renaissance” that is coming to public education in Kansas.

    Thirty-eight thousand home school children are studying in Kansas, Canfield says.

    “I think that’s a very lively and healthy group,” he said.

    Now the state needs to find ways to partner with those students, and with private schools, he says.

    Sure. Those are the same kind of partnerships the mafia offers– offers we can’t refuse.

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    Filed on at 5:52 am under by dcobranchi

    Friend of yours, Scott?

    Press discussion of terrorism surveillance is treason

    I grew up during the 1960s and ’70s. America was the decisive force against totalitarianism in World War II, and gave us great satisfaction. All of that changed during the Vietnam War. Leftist activists, defeatist politicians and their allies in the media seized upon the unpopularity of the war to attack everything America stood for.

    Today, these same forces reveal national security secrets to our enemies because they despise the current administration. This is probably the most discouraging and disgusting development in this country in the last half-century.

    The 1980s and ’90s were a time of resurgence for America. Ronald Reagan’s patriotism and core values buoyed the country. Bill Clinton’s presidency spanned a period of unprecedented economic growth.

    Unfortunately, the divisive 2000 presidential election and the 9/11 attacks changed everything. Left-wing hatred of the Bush administration runs so deep now that it supersedes the good of the country.

    Liberals’ criticism of domestic surveillance was based on the fact that the program could have been sanctioned by courts with relative ease. The decision to expose the program compromised national security when the whole affair could have been handled secretly to preserve a valuable tool in the fight against terrorists. Hatred of Bush and selling newspapers superseded national security.

    This is treason.

    Hate Bush if you must, but when decisions put the lives of millions of fellow citizens at risk, it’s time to prosecute. Congress needs to pass laws to protect the secrecy of anti-terror operations. This insane fixation on privacy has gone far enough. No one’s right to privacy should trump the right of fellow citizens to live without fear of extermination by terrorists.

    Brian Squire, Newark

    That last sentence is a killer, ain’t it. We’re supposed to give up our freedom so that he won’t pee his pants any longer.


    Filed on July 8, 2006 at 5:44 pm under by dcobranchi

    George Clooney directs a take on Edward R. Murrow’s battle with Sen. Joseph McCarthy. It’s a good film. Clooney obviously isn’t happy with the state of the press or the government these days. Interestingly, Murrow’s words in the film are genuine. I guess not a whole lot has changed in the last 52 years.


    Filed on at 3:04 pm under by dcobranchi

    “Wee, wee, wee, wee” all the way to the auction.

    Thislittlepiggystayshome.com seems to be a new favorite auction place for buying and selling home ed materials. Unlike, ebay, TLPSH allows you to sell teachers editions.


    Filed on at 11:19 am under by dcobranchi

    A quick piece on the registration deadline set for Aug. 1. Perhaps Kay Brooks can clear up any additional inconsistencies, but I know that this statement is wrong:

    Special education regulations require public schools to discuss special services for private school students on a routine basis.

    They mean ChildFind. And, yes, the schools cannot discriminate against private school students. But that’s a long way from saying that the schools are “required to discuss special services” with parents. Parents have every right to refuse any kind of testing under ChildFind.

    BTW– Use the standard passwords (all caps).


    Filed on at 10:25 am under by dcobranchi

    Just another tiny step towards theocracy. (via Mainstream Baptist)


    Filed on July 7, 2006 at 8:14 pm under by dcobranchi

    Gonna boycott these advertisers too, Scott?


    Filed on at 5:59 pm under by dcobranchi

    Glenn Greenwald nicely ties together several seemingly disparate threads here at HE&OS– charges of treason and the case of the Jewish Delawareans. I agree with Greenwald 100%. I have a strong libertarian (small “L”) streak (see the top of this page, for instance), yet I could not imagine voting for a Republican at this stage. The current makeup of the GOP is antithetical to the small, leave-me-the-hell-alone government I’ve voted for in the past. As the Libertarian Party is utterly hopeless, I believe the Dems are the only hope for getting government out of our bedrooms and private decisions.

    Yeah, as of this minute I’m a Democrat.

    Legal v. Illegal

    Filed on at 1:45 pm under by Scott Somerville

    Daryl asked a question in a previous comment. I’m going to rephrase it a bit: would I admit that the New York Times did the right thing if the SWIFT program ultimately turns out to violate US law?

    I could go either way on this, but I’ll take the more principled stand and say, yes, I would admit the Times did the right thing if the US Supreme Court ultimately rules that the SWIFT program violated US law. My premise, from the beginning, is that the New York Times behaved irresponsibly by publishing the details of a legal, effective program. If the program was not effective or turns out to have been illegal, then I take my hat off to the Times.

    Daryl, where do you stand on this issue? Does your argument depend upon the assumption that the program was either ineffective or illegal, or would you defend the Times for exposing a legal, effective program? Would you defend the Times even if it turns out that their publication was what we lawyers call the “proximate cause” of the termination of the effectiveness of a legal program?

    WWHS REASON # 7,231

    Filed on at 11:27 am under by dcobranchi

    So we don’t have to deal with idiots like these. (Via Mainstream Baptist)


    Filed on at 6:15 am under by dcobranchi

    Another cool pic today. It makes for a very nice desktop.


    Filed on July 6, 2006 at 5:38 pm under by dcobranchi

    The NEA has passed yet another toothless anti-home education resolution. Valerie has all the details.


    Filed on July 5, 2006 at 4:27 pm under by dcobranchi

    The authoritarians were in charge of the Wilmington (DE) News-Journal editorial page today:

    Curfews rein in kids and make living easier in town in summer

    Elsmere’s stricter youth curfew is a commendable effort to ensure that enjoying a summer breeze doesn’t have to compete with loud music or a noisy ball game in the street.

    Before temperatures and humidity hit the 90s, the Elsmere Town Council extended its curfew earlier this year. It is a crime for anyone younger than 18 to be in a public place after 10 p.m. on any night, with certain exceptions. Previous curfews were at midnight and 11 p.m.

    Wilmington and Philadelphia allow adolescents to be on the streets until midnight on weekends.

    Unlike Wilmington and elsewhere in New Castle County and Wilmington, high-stakes crime is not the issue in Elsmere. But quality of life is.

    Town police recorded a increase in problems with teenagers on Fridays and Saturdays. Late-night fights involving youth provoked dozens of noise complaints last year.

    Curfews have become necessary to keep young people out of trouble, and make a community comfortable for other residents, regardless of age.

    I guess the dating scene in Elsmere must REALLY suck.


    Filed on at 3:43 pm under by dcobranchi

    but I never realized they were Satanic.

    Many adults know that kids are having a hard time, but they don’t fully realize what the enemy is doing to destroy kids. Think of this; of all the nations in the world which nation would Satan most likely select to win over? America. To change this nation, which group would Satan most likely target? It would be the impressionable, little children, right? So all the powers of hell – from across the universe – are attacking America in its most vulnerable spot – where children are learning – America’s public schools. Yet Christians don’t see this spiritual war is right in their local public schools! This is the target of the enemy but this is where 90% of Christian children go all week as the churches sit empty.

    That would explain a lot, I guess. And now a bonus, retch-inducing quote:

    What a person believes at age 13 is for the most part, what they will believe for the rest of their lives. Parents! How can you protect your child’s beliefs? Research shows 94% of home schooled children keep the faith of their parents. But 80-90% of public schooled Christians lose their faith. Have you considered home schooling? The man most responsible for making home schooling legal is attorney Chris Klicka of the Home School Legal Defense Association and author of Home Schooling – The Right Choice.

    ACLU v. Swift

    Filed on at 11:38 am under by Scott Somerville

    I just read Daryl’s comment that says I lost this debate before it even started. I’m not sure what he’s debating, but the reason I’m here is to argue that the New York Times behaved irresponsibly and owes America an apology. As far as I can tell, all the evidence still points to that conclusion.

    I haven’t heard Darly argue that the SWIFT program was ineffective. (He may have said that it was and I may have missed it. If so, I’d appreciate a recap here.) My argument is that, if it was effective, that effectiveness was substantially limited when the NYT decided to run the story over the objections of the Bush Administration.

    Here’s the evidence for this claim, from the NYT itself:

    The Belgian prime minister, Guy Verhofstadt, has asked the Justice Ministry to investigate whether Swift violated Belgian law by allowing the United States government access to its data.

    The American Civil Liberties Union has condemned the program, and a Chicago lawyer, Steven E. Schwarz, filed a federal class-action lawsuit against Swift on Friday alleging that it had violated United States financial privacy statutes.

    Now, I recognize that Daryl may cheer these developments. From his point of view, the NYT, the Belgians, and the ACLU may be the last walls of defense between us and tyranny. I’m not arguing that he has to agree that it’s a bad thing for the ACLU (or the Belgians) to shut this program down. He’s welcome to make that argument, so long as he concedes that the publication of the Times story has substantially changed the status quo.

    Tags: NYT, New York Times, SWIFT, ACLU, Belgium


    Filed on July 4, 2006 at 9:51 pm under by dcobranchi

    I can’t explain this piece, but it makes for interesting reading, especially the penultimate graf.


    Filed on at 8:16 am under by dcobranchi

    Jeana at Days to Come has a pretty good response to a comment on her site.


    Filed on July 3, 2006 at 5:42 am under by dcobranchi



    Filed on July 2, 2006 at 5:31 pm under by dcobranchi

    I’ve been busy.


    I’m about 2/3 of the way through laying the floor in the LR/DR. My first experience with laminate flooring.


    Filed on July 1, 2006 at 6:29 am under by dcobranchi

    The dress/pants story is far beyond its “sell by” date, but I include this letter as a fine example of statist thinking:

    Principal Warner created order out of chaos

    Jackie Smith Warner, principal of Douglas Byrd Senior High School, followed the rules, orders and recommendations of the Board of Education and enforced them.

    The board is elected by the people of Cumberland County. The board selects the superintendent who in turn selects all superintendents to serve with him and employs all principals, teachers, aides etc.

    Bobbie Spanbauer violated the rules and paid the price: not walking across the stage to receive her diploma, nor being allowed to watch the ceremony. So, she received her diploma in absentia.

    Warner has created order out of chaos since her arrival at Byrd, and she possibly avoided another authority challenge. The lady does her job far and beyond what’s called for. Ride by Byrd at 4:30 a.m. or late evenings while she prepares for the children’s day or the teachers’ day.

    She is the principal and educator responsible for every child. Teachers and special program educators fall under her authority also. A child’s success at Douglas Byrd depends on Warner and her great faculty. How can parents have a problem adjusting to what is best for their child?

    Parents are at the mercy of all school personnel when their child arrives for the school day, and they fully expect safety and protection, best education, care and interest.

    Warner doesn’t sit on a mountain and pass judgment, and dispense knowledge and wisdom. She is a teacher, first and foremost.

    Amazing things happen when you follow the rules and learn. You are shortchanging yourself if you don’t. It’s un-American.

    James Stone

    That’s right, parents. The educrats know best. Deal with it!


    Filed on at 5:54 am under by dcobranchi

    Folks on the right are completely unhinged. At least she’s intellectually (if such a word can even be said to apply) honest enough to include the WSJ.

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