Utterly Meaningless » 2006 » October
  • BOO!

    Filed on October 31, 2006 at 9:27 pm under by dcobranchi

    Don’t miss the scary version of the CoH.


    Filed on at 5:43 am under by dcobranchi

    Anyone using Google Calendar might want to note that it doesn’t handle Daylight Savings Time correctly. All of my future appointments have been shifted ahead by an hour.


    Filed on at 4:32 am under by dcobranchi

    Does Mike Smith have something on Rev. Moon? If not, why the free ad in the form of an Op/Ed?


    Filed on at 4:27 am under by dcobranchi

    Woeful, especially since she has professional aspirations. Yeah, she’s a former HEK.


    Filed on October 28, 2006 at 6:28 am under by dcobranchi

    We’re going camping with the 4-H today (truth be told, we were supposed to go yesterday but postponed due to bad weather). I’ll be back late Monday.

    Don’t let Scott get away with anything while I’m gone. 🙂

    NEW AD ——>

    Filed on October 27, 2006 at 11:26 am under by dcobranchi

    This one may be the first purely political ad that has appeared on HE&OS. And a reminder, just because an ad appears in the sidebar implies nothing about whether I support or oppose the cause being promoted.


    Filed on at 11:20 am under by dcobranchi

    I’m passing along without judgment a note I received. Y’all can decide for yourselves if 3Moms.com is a company worth doing business with:

    Hi Daryl,

    I really hope you can help me. I have, unfortunately, ordered $106.30 worth of computer software from the 3 Moms Free Homeschool Software website. I am beginning to believe I have been scammed. I have called the 805-637-xxxx telephone number today and encountered a recording stating the number is not receiving incoming calls. That is the first time I have ever heard anything like that?!? Anyway, I have sent numerous e-mails to several different addresses trying to find out what is going on with the order; all to no avail. Have you received other “scam” notices or alerts from other homeschooling parents in regards to this “free” software. Supposedly, the $106.30 was to cover the “shipping”. If you will reply, I would be most grateful.

    Thanks and best regards,

    And here is an email I sent to the company several days ago on Michele’s behalf. I’ve changed only the private stuff:

    One of your customers in SC has sent a VERY discouraging email to my blog indicating that the software that she ordered has not been shipped and she is out $106.30 She has attempted to contact you several ways, including calling 805-637-xxxx. Please contact me to indicate what you are doing to assure that Mrs. Michele xxxx gets her software ASAP.

    A business such as yours is dependent on the goodwill of the homeschooling community. And that goodwill really is a fragile thing.

    Daryl Cobranchi
    HE&OS (http://cobranchi.com)

    I sent that on 10/23. As of right now, neither Michele nor I have heard a single word back from 3Moms.com.

    Caveat emptor.


    Filed on at 11:05 am under by dcobranchi

    but it is for sale. Maybe Cav and Co. ought to put in a bid. The expected winning bid is a mere 1500 Hellac aurei.

    UPDATE: Hell.com failed to sell. It’s not too late, Cav.


    Filed on at 1:34 am under by dcobranchi

    and the anti-science wing of the GOP. Tough shit. Face reality.

    The fact of the matter is that the scientists in the field believe that embryonic stem cell research is the most promising area for eventually finding cures for a whole host of diseases. Are scientists guaranteeing cures? Of course not. But why should America cut off funding the research in order to save the feelings of a bunch of anti-science idiots. Scientists are not killing babies. They’re taking unwanted, excess, frozen embryos that are destined to be discarded. These embryos are not tiny babies. They’re a bunch of undifferentiated cells. 8-16 cells. Is that a baby? Is it EVER going to be a baby? There are tens of thousands of these embryos sitting in liquid nitrogen dewars for years on end. Are the fundie right waiting for science to advance to the point that these “snowflake babies” (yeah, that’s their name for them) won’t need to be “adopted” and can just be incubated like something out of the Matrix? Yeah. And they say that stem cell research is pie in the sky.

    Some things go beyond partisan politics. Science is one of them.

    UPDATE: I had a computer problem and couldn’t finish the post.

    The right-to-life movement has to be the most ironically named movement in the history of the US. They really don’t care about life. They certainly don’t seem to care about American soldiers’ lives. Or Iraqi civilians’ lives. Or the lives of people with debilitating diseases. No, I think the only lives they care about are their own (hence the fact that they’re still peeing their pants five years after 9/11) and the so-called “lives” of some cells that might someday possibly maybe be a baby.

    They better hope that the atheists are right and that there is no heaven. Because, otherwise, I have a strong suspicion that an awful lot of Right-to-Lifers might someday hear “I never knew you.”


    Filed on October 26, 2006 at 8:34 pm under by dcobranchi

    World Nut Daily is pushing Bishop Usher’s brilliant calculation that the Earth was created on Oct. 23, 4004 B.C. Of course, that would have been an Old Style date. So that means the birthday is really 11 or 12 days later. So, the earth was created Nov. 4th, 4004 B.C.? Pretty close. They’re only off by a factor of E9. [Tip credit: Charity]

    UPDATE: Charity pointed me to this quote:

    The book, now published in English for the first time, is a favorite of homeschoolers and those who take ancient history seriously.


    Filed on at 1:32 am under by dcobranchi

    Not that this study shows that methylphenidate (Ritalin) is effective on 3-4 year-olds but that the study was needed in the first place.


    Filed on at 1:08 am under by dcobranchi

    by his wife. Oh, the horror!

    Don, your kind is still welcome on the camping trips.


    Filed on October 25, 2006 at 7:54 pm under by dcobranchi

    and the principal.

    A high school football playoff game is taking precedence over a college entrance exam.

    And some coaches, players and parents sure are ticked off.

    Bremen High School, seeded 13th in Class 5A, is taking on 4th-seeded Peoria Richwoods in a first-round game Saturday in Peoria.

    Bremen coach John Casson asked for a night game because six of his players, including the starting quarterback, were scheduled to take the ACT exam at 8 a.m. Saturday in Midlothian.

    With the four-hour exam and a three-hour drive, Casson was looking for a 6 p.m. kickoff. But Richwoods’ athletic staff said they were an “afternoon team” and set game time for 2 p.m. instead, Casson said.

    That means the test is out, and players will be up and on the bus at dawn.

    The home school got to pick the time, and they intentionally chose it to screw the other team, in the process forcing the kids to choose between taking the ACT (part of their graduation requirements) and the playoffs.

    So, this time, it’s not AATM. It’s all about winning.


    Filed on at 7:43 pm under by dcobranchi

    That’s what “amateur” really means, and I wear the title proudly.


    Filed on at 7:39 pm under by dcobranchi

    Bar none.


    Filed on at 4:42 pm under by dcobranchi

    I think this is good news. And Scott can now tell us how this will rally the bigots homophobes GOP base to carry them to victory.

    UPDATE: A bit more detail and analysis.


    Filed on at 3:49 pm under by dcobranchi

    I promise that I’ll get away from politics after Nov. 7th. But this election is too important to just sit back and do my same old schtick.

    We are looking for help passing out campaign literature in the Orlando, Florida area. There is a very important and close congressional race in the Florida 8th Congressional district. Incumbent Rep. Ric Keller and Democratic challenger Charlie Stuart are locked in a tie. We believe that we can impact this race in a positive way. We are hoping to turn things upside down by asking Christians to support Mr. Stuart, a well respected, competent and compassionate Democrat!

    Our group, Faith in Democracy, is looking to bring a healthier balance to the political relationship between people of faith and the political parties. We believe that no one party represents the interests of Christians and other persons of faith. We hope to bring Christians and others to understand that our unwavering and sometimes blind support of Republican candidates has led to a one sided and at times, disrespectful relationship.

    We hope to bring the Democratic Party closer to our values. We want to see both parties understanding the need for moral behavior and ethics in practices and policies both in the US and in its foreign policy.

    We are beyond blind acceptance of Republican Party rhetoric and hope to hold them more accountable. We recognize the responsibility that people of faith have to see that democracy works.

    Please call me at 321-243-3067 or e-mail me at: faithpolitics@bellsouth.net

    Please pass this on if you can.

    Richard Richmond


    Filed on at 12:22 pm under by dcobranchi

    Bush ready to cut & run ?

    Bush Expresses Concern on GOP meltdown Iraq Situation

    President Bush said today that he was “not satisfied” with the situation in Iraq and that the United States was shifting its tactics and working on a timetable with the Iraqi government that includes political measures to stem some of the violence. But he also emphasized that the plan was different from an “artificial” timetable under which American troops would be withdrawn.

    I’m sure the GOP thinks Americans are dumb enough to fall for this. And, perhaps, GOP voters are. I think the “reality-based community” (i.e., the 70% of the country that are not Kool-Ade drinkers) will probably see through this.


    Filed on at 1:59 am under by dcobranchi

    And speaking of recycled news, this hed has been written forever and is just pulled out of the drawer annually.

    Tuition Outpaces Inflation

    Down here in NC, the state has just announced that they’re going to hold tuition increases to a mere 6.5% per year for the next four years. And this in a state that actually has in its constitution that public colleges are to be “free to the extent practicable.”


    Filed on at 1:53 am under by dcobranchi

    This story seemed vaguely familiar, as if I’d blogged it before. I did. It was the very first article to appear on the blog, way back in May 2002. Same paper, even.


    Filed on October 24, 2006 at 7:00 pm under by dcobranchi


    At last the Libertarian Party fields a candidate who isn’t blue. She only works blue.


    Filed on at 5:11 pm under by dcobranchi

    Scott bet me even up on the smartest man in the room. He should have asked for odds. Tradesports is paying better’n 2:1.


    Filed on at 4:50 pm under by dcobranchi

    Yes, plural.

    Beverly Hernadez is hosting this week’s CoH and the Cates do the same for Kid Comedy.

    NO WAY

    Filed on at 4:38 pm under by dcobranchi

    This stat has to be bogus.

    Recent statistics show there are fewer Tennessee children who are taught at home. The Tennessee Department of Education says there were nearly two thousand fewer children home-schooled this year than last year — only 45-hundred this year.

    Kay– You still checking in here?


    Filed on at 4:31 pm under by dcobranchi

    –AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl

    –AZ-01: Rick Renzi

    –AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth

    –CA-04: John Doolittle

    –CA-11: Richard Pombo

    –CA-50: Brian Bilbray

    –CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave

    –CO-05: Doug Lamborn

    –CO-07: Rick O’Donnell

    –CT-04: Christopher Shays

    –FL-13: Vernon Buchanan

    –FL-16: Joe Negron
    –FL-22: Clay Shaw
    –ID-01: Bill Sali

    –IL-06: Peter Roskam

    –IL-10: Mark Kirk

    –IL-14: Dennis Hastert

    –IN-02: Chris Chocola

    –IN-08: John Hostettler

    –IA-01: Mike Whalen

    –KS-02: Jim Ryun
    –KY-03: Anne Northup

    –KY-04: Geoff Davis

    –MD-Sen: Michael Steele

    –MN-01: Gil Gutknecht

    –MN-06: Michele Bachmann

    –MO-Sen: Jim Talent

    –MT-Sen: Conrad Burns

    –NV-03: Jon Porter

    –NH-02: Charlie Bass

    –NJ-07: Mike Ferguson

    –NM-01: Heather Wilson

    –NY-03: Peter King

    –NY-20: John Sweeney

    –NY-26: Tom Reynolds

    –NY-29: Randy Kuhl

    –NC-08: Robin Hayes

    –NC-11: Charles Taylor

    –OH-01: Steve Chabot

    –OH-02: Jean Schmidt

    –OH-15: Deborah Pryce

    –OH-18: Joy Padgett

    –PA-04: Melissa Hart

    –PA-07: Curt Weldon

    –PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick

    –PA-10: Don Sherwood

    –RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee
    –TN-Sen: Bob Corker

    –VA-Sen: George Allen

    –VA-10: Frank Wolf

    –WA-Sen: Mike McGavick
    –WA-08: Dave Reichert


    Filed on at 2:56 am under by dcobranchi

    Parents can be total wackos:

    PHILADELPHIA — A father pulled a gun on a youth football coach because his son wasn’t getting enough playing time, police said.

    Wayne Derkotch, 40, was arguing with the coach Sunday morning during a game of 6- and 7-year-olds in northeast Philadelphia when he pulled out the gun, police said.

    No shots were fired and no one required medical treatment, authorities said.

    Derkotch was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment. He did not immediately return a telephone message left at his home today.

    A referee who allegedly threw a punch at a man also was arrested on assault charges, but it was not clear if that fight was related to the first altercation, police spokeswoman Lisa Rotolo said.


    Filed on October 23, 2006 at 4:54 pm under by dcobranchi



    Filed on at 8:58 am under by dcobranchi

    Racist or not? From a recent GOP ad (running in districts that are mostly African-American) on abortion:

    [Black man #1:] “If you make a little mistake with one of your ‘hos,’ you’ll want to dispose of that problem tout suite, no questions asked,” one of the men says.

    [Black man #2:] “That’s too cold. I don’t snuff my own seed,” the other replies.

    [#1:] “Maybe you do have a reason to vote Republican,” the first man says.

    UPDATE: I’m having a debate with a friend on the values one can ascribe to the man who produced this ad.

    UPDATE: OK, he’s fessed up, so I can say that it’s Scott who doesn’t have a problem with the ad.


    Filed on October 22, 2006 at 6:55 pm under by dcobranchi

    I ran across Audrey’s blog in my referrer logs. She may be the first true-blue red Marxist I’ve run across:

    I’m a sexy-curvy super-wife to a radical farmer and super-mom to an awesome homeschooled kid. I’m a librarian, a pagan, an ex-american, and a real Marxist, not one of those “oh-I-just-read-The-Communist-Manifesto-and-think-I-know-what-a-Marxist-is” posers. I wouldn’t work off-farm if I didn’t have to. I don’t suffer fools lightly.


    Filed on at 6:53 am under by dcobranchi

    The Bush-led war, according to a (soon to be former) State Department official. Pretty much sums up my opinion of the decider, too.


    Filed on at 5:31 am under by dcobranchi

    Wikipedia’s gurus get tough. It’s really dead. Y’all can start going through its clothes looking for loose change.

    F*** DR. PHIL

    Filed on at 5:16 am under by dcobranchi

    I’ve only seen his show a few times and each time he seemed to come off as a bit of an asshole. Apparently I underestimated him. He’s a complete asshole. I won’t be watching the show when it airs this Friday. [Tip credit: Tammy]


    Filed on October 20, 2006 at 5:01 pm under by dcobranchi

    Something doesn’t add up here. These three articles all describe the arrest of either a man or a home-schooled student armed with a rifle and ammo. BUT, I can’t seem to find any articles detailing the original arrest, just these three that mention it in passing. One would think that someone going anywhere near a CO high school armed with a rifle would have maybe made a bit of a news splash.


    Filed on at 1:04 am under by dcobranchi

    Thanks to the Fayetteville Observer for the pub and the donation of supplies for the school.


    Filed on October 19, 2006 at 5:32 pm under by dcobranchi

    Another homeschooling family sells out.


    Filed on at 4:14 pm under by dcobranchi

    Early voting in NC started today. Turnout in FAY was pretty good, especially considering that we really don’t have a lot of high profile races. NC-08 covers only a part of Cumberland County. Heavy turnout in CC likely helps Larry Kissell (Dem) in that race.


    Filed on at 3:09 am under by dcobranchi

    Scott Somerville is looking for some evidence that the more involved the dad is in the whole homeschooling adventure, the more the family will tend towards unschooling. I’m not sure I buy the premise. There’s an enormous gulf between g-schoolers and us. To differentiate between the various flavors of home education is, I think, like trying to draw distinctions between folks because some put the jelly on top of the peanut butter and others put the jelly on the second piece of bread.

    Anyway, if you have any thoughts on the matter, the conversation is getting kicked off at Scott’s place.


    Filed on October 18, 2006 at 10:17 pm under by dcobranchi

    The Federal Trade Commission is looking at teen alcohol use. As Skip Oliva points out via email, this seems a bit of a mission creep for the FTC. On top of that, they play a little fast and loose with the data:

    Did you know?

    Since laws established 21 as the minimum drinking age, the likelihood that a 15 to 20-year-old driver will be involved in a fatal crash has dropped by more than half.

    But down at the bottom of the page, they admit that it’s not quite that cut & dried.

    Q. I don’t believe that the reduction in teen drinking and driving accidents since 1983 is entirely due to the minimum drinking age. There must be more to it.

    A. Seat belt requirements, zero tolerance laws, increased enforcement, and frankly, increased public education and information on the dangers of teen drinking have contributed to the downturn in teen drinking and accidents. However, after careful study, the U.S. Department of Transportation concluded that the minimum drinking age law, by itself, has played an important role in reducing both teen drinking and driving after drinking.

    Important? How important? Was 5% of the reduction due to the law changes? 10%? I find it more than a little suspicious that they’re more than willing to trumpet that 50% claim but completely hide the only truly relevant statistic.

    Disraeli(?) knew what he was talking about.


    Filed on at 6:33 pm under by dcobranchi

    I just have never seen eye-to-eye with NHELD. Their legislative bulletins almost always are alarmist. The latest is a fine example.


    Filed on at 11:51 am under by dcobranchi

    Please oh please get rid of Santorum. He is an absolute moron:

    Embattled U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum said America has avoided a second terrorist attack for five years because the “Eye of Mordor” has instead been drawn to Iraq.

    Santorum used the analogy from one of his favorite books, J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1950s fantasy classic, “Lord of the Rings,” to put an increasingly unpopular war in Iraq into terms any school kid could easily understand.

    “As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else,” Santorum said, describing the tool the evil Lord Sauron used in search of the magical ring that would consolidate his power over Middle-earth.

    “It’s being drawn to Iraq and it’s not being drawn to the U.S.,” he continued. “You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don’t want the Eye to come back here to the United States.”


    Filed on at 1:36 am under by dcobranchi

    and a dollar short.

    Homeschool Hacks is hosting this week’s installment of the CoH. They provide the answer to the ultimate homeschooling question.


    Filed on October 17, 2006 at 10:38 pm under by dcobranchi

    Dove’s campaign may be brilliant marketing, but it’s also 100% accurate. [via Chris]

    And this one is just utterly depressing.


    Filed on at 10:25 pm under by dcobranchi

    Has Cav issued a frost warning?


    Filed on at 9:51 pm under by dcobranchi

    This is just absolutely pitiful.

    [Mike] Tyson, 40, said fans should not expect much of a fight when he steps back into the ring, but he promised an entertaining show Friday night when he launches the “Mike Tyson’s World Tour” in Youngstown.

    At a news conference at an Italian restaurant, Tyson said he would likely go just four rounds and that future stops on the tour might include bouts with women, possibly professional boxer Ann Wolfe.


    Filed on at 9:09 pm under by dcobranchi

    I’ve never understood when parents send kids with severe, life-threatening allergies to school. Ignoring the fact that the kid is only 3, these local folks have made a safer choice.


    Filed on at 1:52 am under by dcobranchi

    Pretty good science here. The mutation doesn’t appear to cause autism but makes it significantly more likely.


    Filed on at 1:37 am under by dcobranchi

    From the decidely non-leftist Fort Bragg Fayetteville Observer.

    It isn’t even necessary to dwell on stop-loss and involuntary reactivation to understand that what’s happening has something to do with war — probably one war in particular. A war that some of the nation’s brightest military minds have repeatedly said is being waged with too few troops. A war of occupation with no exit strategy. A war we have no military strategy for winning.

    There are patriots, ready to serve. But recruiting is unlikely to become easier until the mission and the plan for pushing it to conclusion are better defined.

    Are we down to Laura and Barney yet?


    Filed on October 16, 2006 at 7:40 pm under by dcobranchi

    Thanks a lot, Mike. From David Kuo’s new book on Bush’s bait & switch with the Christian Right:

    On use of faith-based bills in Congress as a means of gay-baiting conservative voters:

    “Existing federal law permitted churches and other faith-based organizations to hire only people who shared their faith…. Now, however, staffers for Republican representatives Tom DeLay and Dennis Hastert told us their bosses wanted to let organizations hire and fire based on ‘beliefs and practices.’ They wanted the law to allow organizations to require that its employees adhere not just to the religious beliefs, but also to the practices of the organization….

    “Critics insisted that this provision targeted gays and lesbians…. Behind closed doors, everyone knew what it was about, and why they were pursuing it. For evangelical House members, their staffers, and for the conservative Christian advocacy community, preventing expansion of gay rights was an almost peerless priority. As they saw it, the single greatest threat to the American family came not from divorce, pornography, gambling, workaholism, materialism, or faithlessness, but rather from the mainstream acceptance of gays and lesbians. The most powerful Christian interest organizations (as opposed to charities), such as the Family Research Council, the Traditional Values Coalition, and everyone else, from the home-schoolers [emphasis added] to the private Christian school associations, agreed….


    Filed on at 6:31 am under by dcobranchi

    I got so wrapped up yesterday in the tax exempt bit, that I forgot to mention the part that really got my goat in the e-Lert. Evidently, HSLDA owns their members’ kids:

    To that end, HSLDA PAC has endorsed candidates in key races around the country, and in the last week of the campaign, the PAC is sending out numerous teams of homeschool students to participate in key House and Senate races. These young people will be working hard to “Get-Out-The-Vote.” They will campaign door to door, make literature drops and call thousands of voters.

    Dollars to donuts one of those key races is CO-04, where HSLDA lapdog Marilyn Musgrave is in a tight battle with Angie Paccione.


    Filed on at 5:03 am under by dcobranchi

    Top 10 for sure.

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