Utterly Meaningless » 2007 » September
  • APOD

    Filed on September 30, 2007 at 4:24 pm under by dcobranchi

    Another great pic.


    Filed on at 1:21 pm under by dcobranchi

    There were 5 tragic deaths in FAY in the last two weeks. The first was when a 12-year-old girl, home sick, was shot during a botched burglary. The other four were a result of a kitchen fire. The kids, age 12 and below, were left alone for a few minutes when their mom ran an errand. Awful all the way around. The Fayetteville Observer has the details here.

    This bit jumped out at me:

    Jamie Smith, the Fayetteville police spokeswoman, said it is a misdemeanor to leave a child younger than 8 alone in a house.

    Eight years old!? And, presumably, that means that an eight-year-old can legally be left in supervision of even younger siblings. That’s just too young.


    Filed on at 11:12 am under by dcobranchi

    Surely you jest. h/t Izzy


    Filed on September 29, 2007 at 6:36 pm under by dcobranchi

    3.5 million plaintiffs will make a helluva class:

    Citi is issuing approximately 3.5 million credit cards to department store customers who did not request them, the banking company confirmed Friday.

    Macy’s selected a portion of its card members who have had inactive accounts for more than two years to receive the new Citi MasterCards, according to Citi spokesman Samuel Wang.

    A federal Law dictates that banks can issue credit cards only when customers request them or they replace existing cards. Citi considers the cards replacements to the Macy’s cards already accepted by the customers.

    Issuing a MasterCard to someone just because they used a Macy’s card 2 years before is not a replacement in kind.

    8,000 AND COUNTING

    Filed on at 9:16 am under by dcobranchi

    I missed a milestone post the other day.


    Filed on at 9:04 am under by dcobranchi

    Because the Pearls don’t.

    Read this one all the way through. If your blood pressure doesn’t spike by at least 20 points I’d advise a quick trip to the ER because you have no pulse.

    A snippet:

    Lynn Paddock, a North Carolina woman accused of suffocating her 4-year-old son with blankets in 2006, said she looked on No Greater Joy Ministry’s Web site for advice on child training.

    Investigators found 2-foot lengths of plumbing supply line, similar to the type mentioned on the Web site, in Paddock’s home.

    Pearl said they have no record of Paddock buying their books or attending their seminars.

    He said anyone could go to their Web site, but it does not mean they have taught that person.

    “You won’t find anything on our Web site about smothering children,” Pearl said with a chuckle.


    Filed on September 28, 2007 at 5:18 pm under by dcobranchi

    John McCain, proving that he is unfit to be President:

    Has the candidates’ personal faith become too big an issue in the presidential race?

    Questions about that are very legitimate…. And it’s also appropriate for me at certain points in the conversation to say, look, that’s sort of a private matter between me and my Creator…. But I think the number one issue people should make [in the] selection of the President of the United States is, ‘Will this person carry on in the Judeo Christian principled tradition that has made this nation the greatest experiment in the history of mankind?'”

    It doesn’t seem like a Muslim candidate would do very well, according to that standard.

    I admire the Islam. There’s a lot of good principles in it. I think one of the great tragedies of the 21st century is that these forces of evil have perverted what’s basically an honorable religion. But, no, I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles…. personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith. But that doesn’t mean that I’m sure that someone who is Muslim would not make a good president. I don’t say that we would rule out under any circumstances someone of a different faith. I just would–I just feel that that’s an important part of our qualifications to lead.*

    He then goes on to say that “the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation.”

    via Atrios


    Filed on September 27, 2007 at 7:08 pm under by dcobranchi

    This one found its way into Lydia’s Inbox. Pretty funny.


    Filed on at 6:25 pm under by dcobranchi

    Not a whole lot new in this “defense” of homeschooling. It probably would have been more effective if she hadn’t just copied & pasted Rudner’s Executive Summary.


    Filed on September 25, 2007 at 5:10 am under by dcobranchi

    Today’s must read— a terrific Vanity Fair piece on Elizabeth Eckford, one of the Little Rock Nine.


    Filed on September 24, 2007 at 7:15 pm under by dcobranchi

    A very cool pic today. Make sure to click on the photo for the HiRes version. (Large file)


    Filed on at 6:33 pm under by dcobranchi

    From my local fish-wrap:

    Jeers to a local elementary school. I took my daughter out of the school in March 2007 to home-school her, because we were having issues that weren’t getting resolved.

    At the end of the school year, the children were issued their yearbooks. I had the opportunity to look through one and found that my daughter’s picture had been taken out, as if she had never existed.

    She has been with this school for three years and was a part of her class for more than three-fourths of the school year. I think she should have still been in at least her class picture.

    I am very furious with this, and it is very upsetting that they could do this to a child.

    — Karen Fay, Hope Mills


    Filed on at 6:05 pm under by dcobranchi

    I’m not sure if this press release was originally written in Bulgarian and then translated into English or it went through an English-Bulgarian-English mangling:

    The standards and motivation for a Christlike homeschool is dominated by the juvenile’s work that is based from the Testament, wherein the course of study of the lad should be left in the moms’ control.

    As seen in all Christlike homeschools, parents educate the word of the lord, to cultivate their young people for favorable Christianly understanding, and impart values that are critical in their traditional affairs as well as when they establish age of consent. This facet of teaching is not found in the course of study at most every public school.

    Christian like homeschools are particular for each house. Some perfectly prepare their homeschooling environment and curriculum to look very similar a “junior high school”, definitive with textbooks, desks, flag salute, and yes, recess.

    It goes on from there.


    Filed on September 23, 2007 at 3:25 pm under by dcobranchi

    I’m stuck for a couple hours in Pittsburgh. It really isn’t any great hardship, though. The AirMall has lots of places to eat at normal prices and WiFi is free throughout the airport. The biggest complaint nitpick is that finding an outlet to plug in a laptop is damn near impossible.


    Filed on September 22, 2007 at 7:57 am under by dcobranchi

    Yeah, I haven’t done one of these in a while. But when the reporter even points it out

    A growing number of school districts statewide, including Moorpark and several others in Ventura County, are reaching out to home-schoolers by offering help in the form of credentialed teachers, textbooks and enrichment classes like art.

    Districts provide a standards-based curriculum that gives families an alternative to traditional campuses, said Marilyn Smith, independent-study director for the Ojai Unified School District. In return, the districts get to keep the students in the public-school system and hold onto state funding that is based on the number of students and attendance.


    Filed on at 7:45 am under by dcobranchi

    ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ — Borders Group, Inc. is honoring America’s teachers with special savings and events during Educator Savings Week Sept. 26 through Oct. 2 at all Borders, Borders Express and Waldenbooks stores across the country. During this event, Borders Group is proud to recognize teachers, librarians, professors, homeschoolers and other educators for their commitment to life-long learning. Current and retired educators receive a 25 percent discount off regularly priced books, CDs, DVDs, gift and stationary and cafe items for classroom or personal use.


    Filed on at 2:48 am under by dcobranchi

    With opponents like this, I’ll sleep better tonight:

    Support for troops has to be visible

    Often I am reminded that not all of Huey Long died on the capitol steps in Baton Rouge, La. Huey Long was a Democratic, populist demagogue whose main goal in life was to separate money from those who earned it and give to those who did not.

    Roberta Waddle’s letter to the editor (“Support of veterans is more than words,” Sept. 10) is a case in point. Her attempted excoriation of Sen. Elizabeth Dole is filled with mild invectives attempting to rally her fellow travelers at the North Carolina Peace and Justice Coalition, who most certainty do not support the troops.

    Waddle’s main objection is that Dole refuses to vote the socialistic line of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.

    When I am at the counter-rally to the anti-war rally at Rowan Park, I hear the “international Socialists” — could they be Communists? — chanting “No more troops; no more war.” This in no way supports the troops.

    So when Roberta Waddle says support the troops, she means in a George Soros or Huey Long sort of way.

    This is perfectly in line with the modern liberal thinking of fewer rights to individuals (unless they are given by the government, not God). Liberals simply want us to be a nation unarmed, unprotected and willing to kowtow to any foreign thought or actions because we cannot defend ourselves.

    Kind of like France.

    Ralph Reagan, Cumberland County Republican chairman,

    Full disclosure: Roberta Waddle’s a friend.


    Filed on September 21, 2007 at 11:59 am under by dcobranchi

    This is kind of a reprise of one of the earliest posts here at what was then Homeschool & Other Education Stuff.

    The Do Not Call registry has been a boon to homeschooling families, ending the annoying and disruptive calls throughout the day. Unfortunately, many of those numbers registered in the heady days of 2002 2003 are about to “expire” and will again be available to the scum telemarketers. You’ll need to go here to re-register your number.

    And, while you’re there, you might want to register your cellphone numbers, too. In theory, telemarketers can’t call any cellphone number as that’s a violation of federal law. And, in theory, bumblebees can’t fly.


    Filed on September 20, 2007 at 3:59 pm under by dcobranchi

    I really hope Chevy builds the Volt. I’d definitely be interested in an electric vehicle. The e-Flex drive is really very forward-thinking.


    Filed on at 3:54 pm under by dcobranchi

    Here’s a nice little piece on craft brewing in the US. One of the hobbies I’ll definitely take up some day is homebrewing. The first (and only) Delaware Beach Blogger Weekend was held at the original Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in Lewes. The 90 Minute IPA is phenomenal.


    Filed on September 19, 2007 at 10:35 pm under by dcobranchi

    From 14 1/2 games back on May 29th, the Yanks are now one down in the loss column. And the Sox have lost 5 of 6.

    The Yanks have done this before. In 1978 they trailed the Sox by 14 games on July 19th to have the season end in a tie and a one game playoff at Fenway.

    We all know how that one turned out.*

    *It’s not nearly as dramatic now as it was back in ’78. Either the Yanks or the Sox will almost certainly be the Wild Card team.


    Filed on at 8:28 pm under by dcobranchi

    Beverly Hernadez ties the topic in with this week’s CoH.

    And there’s still no evidence tying autism to thimerasol or vaccinations.*

    *Is that blog-whorey enough, Chris? 🙂


    Filed on at 9:47 am under by dcobranchi

    Scroll down to the bottom of this post. And, yes, I was the one who pushed to have the hellac pegged to 666 USD.

    Evidently, economics is not my true calling. 🙂


    Filed on at 6:12 am under by dcobranchi

    It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day!


    Filed on at 5:50 am under by dcobranchi

    NBC-29 ought to lose their over-the-air license for this report on autism. It’s that bad. Totally irresponsible reporting and the “winner” of today’s No Bad Science Hat of Shame. [via the Dis Brimstone]


    Filed on at 5:01 am under by dcobranchi

    An amoeba found in some FL lakes has killed three young people this year. The illness is treatable but time is of the essence. More details here.


    Filed on September 17, 2007 at 6:53 pm under by dcobranchi

    This program I can get behind:

    We have now decided to reintroduce physical education into our homeschool routine and will take a couple of days a week as a family to exercise. The fitness routine will include push-ups, sit-ups, sprinting – or in my case just maintaining forward momentum – crushing empty diet soda cans on our foreheads, and putting five of six shots from a revolver into the forehead of a silhouette target at 15 paces. We’ll leave the larynx crushing to the people with the black belts.

    Read the whole piece; it’s cute.

    AND SPEAKING OF 401(k)

    Filed on at 6:35 pm under by dcobranchi

    The topic of 401(k) retirement savings plans came up the other day. It seems that the 401(k) program will be changing a bit come January. I just hope that the companies don’t try to force everyone into a target date fund. They’re fine for relatively conservative investors. For folks like me, way too boring.


    Filed on at 5:53 pm under by dcobranchi

    A Nebraska state senator has sued God:

    In the lawsuit Chambers says he’s tried to contact God numerous times, “Plaintiff, despite reasonable efforts to effectuate personal service upon Defendant (“Come out, come out, wherever you are”) has been unable to do so.”

    The suit also requests that the court given the “peculiar circumstances” of this case waive personal service. It says being Omniscient, the plaintiff assumes God will have actual knowledge of the action.

    The lawsuit accuses God “of making and continuing to make terroristic threats of grave harm to innumerable persons, including constituents of Plaintiff who Plaintiff has the duty to represent.”

    It says God has caused, “fearsome floods, egregious earthquakes, horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes, pestilential plagues, ferocious famines, devastating droughts, genocidal wars, birth defects, and the like.”

    The suit also says God has caused, “calamitous catastrophes resulting in the wide-spread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants including innocent babes, infants, children, the aged and infirm without mercy or distinction.”

    Since “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.” [Psalm 24:1] I’m not sure this isn’t more like a case of animal cruelty. Torturing animals may be insane and evil, but I don’t believe the animals have ever successfully sued.


    Filed on September 16, 2007 at 7:04 pm under by dcobranchi

    On the road into work.


    Filed on at 6:59 pm under by dcobranchi

    The view out my back door the other day.


    Filed on at 11:02 am under by dcobranchi

    The Scripps National Spelling Bee folks want to charge every school (including homeschool associations) in the country $99 for the right to send one of their kids to the first round of competition. They claim that they’re operating at a deficit in the “hundreds of thousands of dollars.” According to this site, there are approximately 100,000 K-12 schools. Figure at least 80% of them are K-8, the ages for the bee. 80,000 at $99 each raises a cool $8M. It seems the not-for-profit Scripps Foundation might be planning on turning a tidy (non) profit this year.


    Filed on at 10:50 am under by dcobranchi

    Just read the lede. Is this cop (and the law) really helping?

    More than an hour after the first bell Friday morning, Mike Flores spotted a teenager climbing from his car and heading to class at Madison High School.

    “Where you going, man?” hollered Flores, an officer with the Houston Police Department’s Southwest Patrol. “You know you’re in violation of the curfew. You got to be here on time.”

    The kid was on his way into the school and the cop detained him. Way 2 Go!


    Filed on at 10:46 am under by dcobranchi

    Arming the teachers. It’s a pretty snarky column for old media.


    Filed on at 8:31 am under by dcobranchi

    My local newspaper is asking for reader feedback on the following questions:

    When do you expect the war in Iraq to end? What will it take to end it?

    I thought the answer was obvious– Jan. 20, 2009 when the Moron in Chief is finally history and a Democrat takes the oath of office.


    Filed on September 15, 2007 at 7:08 pm under by dcobranchi

    Free Chik-Fil-A sandwich here.


    Filed on September 14, 2007 at 4:42 pm under by dcobranchi

    Valerie reports that the NCLB reauthorization may make it a violation of federal law to allow your kids to watch too much or inappropriate television. Allowing them to waste “extracurricular time” might also send you to Leavenworth.


    Filed on September 13, 2007 at 8:28 am under by dcobranchi

    It’s kind of strange seeing one of Cav’s posts pop up in my feeds that links to HE&OS and to my local newspaper.

    The principal in question was an idiot.


    Filed on September 12, 2007 at 5:02 pm under by dcobranchi

    A waiter foiled an armed carjacking outside his restaurant. His reward? He was immediately fired. I’m betting that the negative publicity gets the waiter rehired and the manager fired posthaste.


    Filed on at 4:46 pm under by dcobranchi

    I feel sorry for these folks whose 401(k)s were nearly wiped out. But how, in these post-Enron days, can anyone sink more than a few percent of their retirement nest eggs in a single company?

    I proudly own zero shares of DuPont common. I even sell the shares I get in my annual bonus the day I receive them. It’s not that I have no faith in the company. It’s just a means of reducing risk. The Sharpe ratio on a single stock, even blue chip DD, is just way too low to risk my retirement funds.

    UPDATE: And lest anyone think I’m just a conservative investor, think again. I’m probably as aggressive as one can get in a 401(k), playing momentum and holding no cash or bonds. There’s a difference between being aggressive and being foolish. Investing in your employer’s stock is foolish.


    Filed on at 5:46 am under by dcobranchi

    The Fayetteville Observer has apparently outsourced the editorial page to DailyKos. Finally!


    Filed on September 11, 2007 at 4:46 pm under by dcobranchi

    I don’t have the chromosomes to do this one justice. Feminism and large families.


    Filed on at 5:30 am under by dcobranchi

    in Kansas, too. [via Valerie]


    Filed on September 10, 2007 at 9:09 pm under by dcobranchi

    First overseas http://www.expatica.com/actual/article.asp?subchannel_id=24&story_id=43704 article of the year.


    Filed on at 9:03 pm under by dcobranchi

    when every other paper feels a calling to run a piece on how “Homeschooling’s on the Grow.” Here’s the latest.

    WAY 2 GO!

    Filed on at 8:45 pm under by dcobranchi

    Izzy hits one out of the park.


    Filed on at 6:53 pm under by dcobranchi

    You make the call.


    Filed on September 8, 2007 at 4:01 pm under by dcobranchi

    Don’t click this link on a full stomach. Those are chemical burns. I have no idea what is is those shoes but if I were testing them I’d check the pH first.


    Filed on September 7, 2007 at 9:45 pm under by dcobranchi

    I just like the name of the town.


    Filed on at 9:42 pm under by dcobranchi

    In a discussion about a g-school teacher pleading guilty to sleeping with a couple of teenagers we read:

    While many home schoolers engaged in captive religious indoctrination of their children isolate their kids to foster a sense of dependence, I’m sure there are those who don’t.

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