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Wide White: July 2006

Sunday, July 30, 2006


This is post number 500, and since I don't have much else to blog about, I figured I'd celebrate. For those of you who have actually read all 500, I'm sorry for that. Whatever it is or may have been, I'm sorry. And thank you. Thank you for making this more enjoyable for me, because without you, well, it would be a whole lot more lonely.

And I'm still soliciting guesses for the three items in my refrigerator. The answer will be coming very soon....

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sick guitar skills!

I've never seen anything like this Erik Mongrain guy.

Wow!! I'd love to be half that good! He makes me question whether I can even call whatever it is I do "playing the guitar."

H/T: Sean.

The cow that went by my office window

Remember the post from a month ago about the cow that went running by my office window with the chief of police chasing it in his Dodge Charger?

Well, one of my coworkers took a picture of it.

I thought that might amuse some of you.

(That's a park right behind the office.)

Loony Professor Barrett

For those who haven't been following the debacle with UW-Madison professor Kevin Barrett, you can read a quick summary of the latest developments here.

Trust, me, it's worth your time to read it! (FYI, there is some minor offensive language.) It doesn't just let you see just how out of whack Kevin Barrett is, but it makes you wonder what's happened to our public university system? Are they all on crack or something? I've seen some pretty lame things from the university - not the least of which was their persistent indecision regarding the UW-Eau Claire ban on Bible studies - but this is absolutely absurd.

Okay, that's enough stating the obvious for one post.

H/T: Jenna, who's doing an awesome job of keeping tabs on this thing.

The minimum wage may be going up

And we have Republicans to thank for it.

Good grief. Have they forgotten what the word "conservative" means?

When your mom finds out you have a blog...

...she reads it. And when she reads it, she comments.

My mom and I are pretty close. Well, I like to think so anyway. I'll let her decide for herself if she thinks we're close. :)

But either way, my mom, my dad, two brothers and a sister were here to visit earlier this week. She and my dad broke out laughing at one point not long after they arrived. Apparently it was over the content of my refrigerator.

No, I don't have much in there. Three items, to be exact. Since I ran out of cereal a few weeks ago, I haven't purchased a new supply, so milk wasn't one of the items. It's just too hard to keep things fresh when you're only buying for one person.

I'll let you all guess in the comments what those three items were and when my mom feels a sufficient amount of time has passed, I'll let her reveal the correct answer.

(I should add that she didn't include the fact that my freezer is stocked full, as are my cupboards, with food. Additionally, I don't eat out more than about once a week. Too expensive....)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Shopping made easier for men!

(And I suppose for some of you women as well.)

If an Arizona professor has his way, stickers will actually change color to tell us when fruit is ripe enough to eat.

How cool is that?

If you haven't received a memo today...

...then you must not be a reporter.

Apparently some seven-year-old memo was leaked to a reporter anonymously warning that the bolts that failed to hold in the slabs of concrete in Boston's Big Dig were, well, prone to failure.

Don't get me wrong; what happened at the Big Dig is atrocious, and just one more example of preposterous government waste.

However, to make a headline out of finding one memo - ONE memo! - warning about the bolts' weakness is ridiculous.

I've never run a construction site, but I imagine memos fly back and forth and all over the place. Since when was every memo deconstructed for content, analyzed, and spit back out to reporters as the silver bullet that could have saved the situation from ever happening?

As they say, hindsight is 20/20. Reporters seem to have very intuitive 20/20 hindsight vision. It's their actual vision forward that seems to be pretty blurry.

Is President Bush your homeboy?

Because apparently, he's this Lieutenant Governor's homeboy.

(FYI, his fiscal irresponsibility, among other things, would most definitely not make him my homeboy. However, if he were to knock on my door tonight and have dinner with me, I'd probably change my tune. Not gonna lie...)

Howard Dean really is nuts

I think he'll say just about anything to get a reaction. Most recently he's called the Iraqi Prime Minister an "anti-semite." Yeah, that'll help the situation in the Middle East.

I just loved the quote from Virginia Senator John Warner, the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.
"I dismiss Howard Dean. Really, he's a disappointment, even to Democrats. I don't care to deal with that."

Andrea Yates: Guilty

No, that's not the correct headline. It actually reads, "Jury Finds Yates Not Guilty in Drownings".

The "Not guilty by reason of insanity" argument is absurd in any case. Was she insane? Based on all evidence I've seen, I'd say that yes, she was most definitely insane when she killed her children.

However, our judicial system shouldn't be based on the mental condition of a person at the time they committed their crime. It's based on the crime. Should the crime be punished? I believe it should be. Why? Because a crime was committed. What happens if we decide that she's okay, let her back into society, and she kills someone else because, oops, I guess she's insane again?

I don't mean to sound caloused with this. I understand that insanity is a real condition and that people really do things because they are mentally ill. However, I do not believe that excuses punishment. It may excuse the most severe forms of punishment, but an innocent verdict?

That's absurd.

Chicago's discriminatory practices

The Chicago City Council just approved a "living wage" requirement of $10 an hour (plus $3 in fringe benefits) in their city.

While I disagree with increasing the minimum wage because I believe it simply leads to inflation, which leads to more minimum wage hikes, which are bad for the economy, etc...., I disagree even more with the discriminatory application of this new requirement.

Chicago's new $10 an hour policy is only applied to "mega-retailers with over $1 billion in annual sales and stores of at least 90,000 square feet".

Hmm...who fits that description? Could it be...Wal-Mart?

Don't get me wrong. I can't stand Wal-Mart. I don't go there because I don't like the way they treat their wholesalers, based on what knowledge I have of the company. I also prefer to support stores that are cleaner and easier to shop.

But this is wrong. To single out a company just because they're bigger than you'd like is wrong. It's more than wrong; it's socialistic.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A decent step against Roe V. Wade

Making a crime out of interstate transport of a minor for an abortion won't really stop that many abortions, if any.

However, the 65-34 vote on the bill was telling of how widespread the support for this anti-Planned Parenthood bill really is. It's one more dent in the fight against murder of the innocent. May many more dents follow.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Game cancelled

Sorry for those looking forward to meeting my rents.

On the bright side, it gives me more time with them. :)

Meet my parents

For those who are forever jealous of me because I have such sweet parents and you've always wanted to meet them, come to Hoffman Park at 7:00 tonight. They'll be there.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Why I don't read newspapers...

...or watch network or cable news. Why do I follow the news online, scanning the headlines and clicking only on stories I want to read and even then, not immediately trusting everything I read?

This is why.

That mistake will cost you...dictatorship!

Apparently, attempting to go to Disneyland is something that not only 20+-year-old North Koreans strive for, but it can also cost them a shot at dictatorship.
Kim Jong Il is known to have three sons -- one from his second wife and two from his third. North Korean experts say Kim's 25-year-old son Kim Jong Chul is most likely to become the North's next leader.

His eldest son, Kim Jong Nam, is said to have fallen out of favor after embarrassing his father in 2001 when he was caught trying to enter Japan on a fake passport, saying he wanted to visit Tokyo Disneyland.
Ouch...tough penalty!

Meet the Press, play political games with the press

I happened to catch a few minutes of Meet the Press this morning. I don't believe I've ever watched an episode of it. It's Sunday morning. I'm in church Sunday mornings and before I'm in church, I'm preparing for church.

But for whatever reason, when I got up this morning, I decided to see if there were any crazy TV preachers on.

Meet the Press was on, with the guest being Joshua Bolten, George W. Bush's chief of staff. I only watched it for 10 minutes, but that 10 minutes made me despise the game of politics.

Tony Snow, Bush's press secretary, made a statement recently concerning the stem cell research debate in which he effectively called the destruction of the embryos murder. Tim Russert asked Bolten if that's really the President's stance; does the President actually believe destruction of an embryonic stem cell is murder?

Bolten dodged the question, going through a number of hoops before coming back to his talking point that the President doesn't believe the government should fund something that many people consider to be morally wrong. Russert asked why the President wouldn't outlaw private embryonic stem cell research if it's really wrong. Again, Bolten dodged the question and returned to his original talking point.

The whole episode was extremely frustrating to watch unfold. Why can't politicians be straight up with us? For crying out loud, why can't the politicians' own advisors and spokesmen be straight up with us?

I'm no fan of Russert, but I thought his questions were very good. It's just too bad Bolten played the game of politics with those questions.

NOTE: I should add that the rest of the day was great. Note to self: never allow Meet the Press to interrupt a Sunday morning again!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Politics are dirty

Way, way, way too dirty.

This article shows just how dirty they've become. Of course, let's not fool ourselves; politics have always been dirty. Back in the day political candidates would give free beer in exchange for votes. Of course, that's been outlawed since then and McCain-Feingold tried to do away with even more of the dirtiness. This has really only made the process even dirtier, with PACs and, more importantly, 527s, playing a nasty role in politics today.

The nastiness of politics isn't unexpected though. As sinful humans, we're prone towards this kind of degrading behavior.

Here's one snippet of that article that I thought was pretty sad, especially when you consider the time and energy that went into dismantling this man's reputation.
Then there was the silver bullet that claimed Republican Mike Taylor, who briefly posed a threat to Montana Sen. Max Baucus in 2002.

Democrats knew he had once owned hair care schools in Colorado. That led to a newspaper ad that mentioned he had once appeared in an infomercial on the noon news in Denver in the 1980s. That, in turn, led to the basement of a private home where a former television station employee had old videotapes.

For Democrats, the hunt was worth the effort - the party's autumn television commercial showed Taylor wearing an open-front shirt and gold chains, massaging a man's face.

Staggered, Taylor briefly dropped out of the race, accusing the Democrats of saying that "anybody in the beauty and hair fashion industry is homosexual."

But in politics, as the old expression goes, if you're explaining, you're losing.

"That was a silver bullet," Baucus recalls.
From a political technology standpoint, the statement, "if you're explaining, you're losing," is very, very true.

It's a fact of life. I'm not complaining. It's just one more opportunity to witness the degraded nature of us humans.

Friday, July 21, 2006

River Falls has "cellular" service!!

I found this story from the River Falls Journal. It was printed in their edition from the 43rd week of 1999. What would that be, October?

This article about cell phone market expansion absolutely hilarious to read 7 years after it was written. You've got to love the description of what a cellular phone is and what features are available.

[Emphasis mine]

Norm Walker and Patrick Coughlin are serious about marketing communication devices in the River Falls area.
Walker is hoping to expand his knowledge in the cellular market.

"There are three main reasons why people buy cell phones," Walker said. "The most important is safety. The second is to make their lives easier. The third is business."

The cellular phone models are light-weight and come with rechargeable batteries. A free digital phone is available for customers who sign a 12-month service agreement at $20 a month, plus a $5 hook-up charge [isn't that "hook-up charge" $30 now?].

This introductory offer includes free voice mail, caller ID and call waiting. It also includes 40 minutes a month of phone calls anywhere in Wisconsin or the Twin Cities.

Walker and Coughlin offer service connection to Cellular One, U.S. Cellular and Aerial [Aerial?? Who's that?]. They sell Nokia, Motorola and Phillips [Do they still have Phillips phones?] products including digital analog phones and pagers. They can order additional brands upon request.

Those who don't sign up for the introductory offer can purchase a variety of cellular phones ranging in price from $20-200.

"Cellular phones"...I love it! I want to know how old the journalist was who wrote that and whether or not she actually owned a cellular phone

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Reagan quote #18

There's actually a lot of truth in this statement.
Facts are stupid things.
Think about it. People from both sides of the political aisle can use facts to support completely opposite claims, and both sides actually sound intelligent to an equal 50% of the American population. ???

The news in brief

My mom told me that she'd only heard about the Israel-Lebanon snafu yesterday. She blames me for not keeping her informed. So, in the interest of my mom and anyone else who receives their news exclusively from Wide White, here's a run-down of what's been going on while I've been, well, not posting.

Israel is in Lebanon blowing out their brains 'cause Lebanon, well, they allow this group called Hezbollah to run crazy and shoot stuff at Israel and kidnap Israeli soldiers and stuff like that. One dude even spent $3,000 in taxi fares to get out of Lebanon. Pretty much, WWIII is a real possibility.

Bush appeared at an NAACP convention for the first time during his presidency. Of course, since the NAACP's pro-abortion, pro-homosexual "rights," pro-reparations, pro-affirmative action platform is one that represents all black people everywhere, it's a shame that Bush has never spoken to them before and would have been a catastrophe if he'd never spoken to their group throughout his entire presidency.

The Big Dig is in serious trouble. Of course, that's not a news story, really. It's just a fact. The Big Dig is a massive government project. Need I say more?

The rest of the news is pretty lame right now. Harry Reid says Iraq is a civil war (yes, that garnered a headline out of CNN); some former Navy football star (do "Navy" and "football star" belong in the same sentence?) was acquitted of a rape that I'd never even heard about, much less cared about the trial; St. Louis is apparently suffering some blackout thanks to the heat and the National Guard is being called in; someone paid a ton of money (something like $30,000) for a date with some actress named Jessica Biel who apparently plays in some TV show called "Seventh Heaven," or whatever...apparently it was for charity? I didn't get that far in the story.

That's the news. You're caught up for a while now Mom and the rest of you. Now you won't be in the dark as your 13-year-old son ponders how a date with Jessica Biel could possibly go for only $30,000.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Cars are burning in Madison

And for the first time, well, probably ever, it's not because of crazy loony student protesters rioting!

On my way back from Madison today I saw a car on I-90 burning. There was a ton of black smoke bellowing up ahead of me and sure enough, a Ford Taurus was engulfed in flames. It hadn't been burning long, because the second squad car got there as I passed it.

Also as I passed it, there was a huge boom as the front left tire exploded. That was pretty cool.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

I'll support Ted Kennedy's bill

I almost titled this, "I'll support Ted Kennedy," but that would be taking it WAY too far.

So, suffice it to say that I can support this bill that he's trying to get through.

Here's its title:
A bill to require the submittal to Congress of any Presidential Daily Briefing relating to Iraq during the period beginning on January 20, 1997, and ending on March 19, 2003.
Does this have a chance of actually getting passed? Probably not. I highly doubt anything Ted Kennedy sponsors could get through.

However, I'm all for opening up the records. These records would include briefings to both Clinton and Bush. I strongly believe that if America could see those briefings, they would understand much more fully why Bush made the decision to enter Iraq.

Knowing what I know now, would I have gone into Iraq? No. Tell me I've been sold out to the lies of the left and the media or whatever else you want to tell me, but I wouldn't. Why? Because I wouldn't go into Rwanda or Sudan or Iran or North Korea or a number of other places with dictators who are as bad or worse than Saddam Hussein, yet likely pose no threat to our national security.

Having said that, knowing what I knew then, would I have gone into Iraq? Absolutely. We cannot make decisions based on what we know in the future. That's what Democrats would have us believe. Going into Iraq was the right decision given the information we had. We had reason to believe Saddam Hussein was a threat to us, so we responded. We also did what the U.N. refused to do: enforced the U.N.'s own resolution.

I believe that what has happened in Iraq should make us that much more cautious in any future endeavors. But I believe that if those records that Senator Kennedy wants to badly to be made public were in face made public, America and the world would better understand what was going through the mind of officials within the military and the Bush administration when they made the decision to invade Iraq.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

If I'd written this for my obituary'd know something went seriously haywire before I'd died. Of course, I do appreciate some of the humor he injects into his own obituary from the Richmond Times-Dispatch of Richmond, Virginia, though other portions I could do without.

I've included some short clips of it the whole thing because cutting parts of it just doesn't do it justice.

(Yes, it's real. Bold font added by me for those with less time.)
Frederic Arthur (Fred) Clark, who had tired of reading obituaries noting other's courageous battles with this or that disease, wanted it known that he lost his battle as a result of an automobile accident on June 18, 2006. True to Fred's personal style, his final hours were spent joking with medical personnel while he whimpered, cussed, begged for narcotics and bargained with God to look over his wife and kids. He loved his family. His heart beat faster when his wife of 37 years Alice Rennie Clark entered the room and saddened a little when she left. His legacy was the good works performed by his sons, Frederic Arthur Clark III and Andrew Douglas Clark MD, PhD., along with Andy's wife, Sara Morgan Clark. Fred's back straightened and chest puffed out when he heard the Star Spangled Banner and his eyes teared when he heard Amazing Grace. He wouldn't abide self important tight *censored*. Always an interested observer of politics, particularly what the process does to its participants, he was amused by politician's outrage when we lie to them and amazed at what the voters would tolerate. His final wishes were "throw the bums out and don't elect lawyers" (though it seems to make little difference). During his life he excelled at mediocrity. He loved to hear and tell jokes, especially short ones due to his limited attention span. He had a life long love affair with bacon, butter, cigars and bourbon. You always knew what Fred was thinking much to the dismay of his friend and family. His sons said of Fred, "he was often wrong, but never in doubt". When his family was asked what they remembered about Fred, they fondly recalled how Fred never peed in the shower - on purpose. He died at MCV Hospital and sadly was deprived of his final wish which was to be run over by a beer truck on the way to the liquor store to buy booze for a double date to include his wife, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter to crash an ACLU cocktail party. In lieu of flowers, Fred asks that you make a sizable purchase at your local ABC store or Virginia winery (please, nothing French - the *censored*) and get rip roaring drunk at home with someone you love or hope to make love to. Word of caution though, don't go out in public to drink because of the alcohol related laws our elected officials have passed due to their inexplicable terror at the sight of a MADD lobbyist and overwhelming compulsion to meddle in our lives. No funeral or service is planned. However, a party will be held to celebrate Fred's life. It will be held in Midlothian, Va. Email for more information. Fred's ashes will be fired from his favorite cannon at a private party on the Great Wicomico River where he had a home for 25 years. Additionally, all of Fred's friend (sic) will be asked to gather in a phone booth, to be designated in the future, to have a drink and wonder, "Fred who?"
I have a feeling Fred and I would have parted ways on a few issues...such as tearing up at Amazing Grace while getting smashed on bourbon. I guess we'd have had different definitions of "grace," or at least the effect of it.

However, there's something I do kind of like in the idea of having serious fun with your obituary. (But please, don't hold a party for me when I'm gone. And don't go get rip roaring drunk at home with...well, you get the point.)

H/T: Clint.

Einstein did what?

Think about your impression of Albert Einstein. What are the first words that come to mind? Nerd? Brilliant? Physicist?

How about chick magnet?
Forget about physics, old Al seemed more interested in physiques: female ones and lots of them. Usually from Europe, but told in startling detail to family members, even his wife, back in the U.S., who he cheated on with his secretary, Betty, but that's another story.
Makes you think twice about Bill Gates....

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Minutemen begin killing immigrants

Ever wonder how off-the-wall those who don't believe in border security are?

Stop wondering.

(For those who want to stop wondering but don't want to watch the news story in that link, basically, a reporter interviews an anonymous girl who actually alleges that the Minutemen are killing illegal immigrants. Yes, she's really that uneducated on what's going on in this world.)

I have to hand it to the reporters on this one. They pressed the girl for answers. They (and the parade coordinator) also noted the telling fact that, regarding the parade in which the Minutemen marched, conservatives didn't object to a liberal group in the parade two years ago, but the liberals were enraged over the Minutemen being in the group.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Dan Rather back in the game

But this time he has "has limited exposure, available on some cable and satellite services that offer high-definition programming." HDNet, to be specific, which is owned by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

In explaining the difference between his role in HDNet and CBS, Rather offered some very comforting words:
The "difference here is the chain of command begins and ends with me."
Rather will produce the program, which will be up to an hour long, and be its host. He said he will have creative and editorial control.
But thank goodness Rather corrects the error in the brain of every American.
"Yes, I'm biased. I've got a very strong bias toward independent journalism," he said.
Whatever Dan. Just, whatever.

New favorite song

I've posted a new favorite song. I've only heard it once, but these lyrics had me hooked:
United States of America
Looks like another silent night
As we’re sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children
America, what will we miss while we are sleeping
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King
Will we be sleeping
Will we be sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night
You kind of have to read the rest of the lyrics of the song to get why it's "another silent night."

I got to see Casting Crowns a year and a half ago and they're awesome. Very refreshing. They're not your typical "alternative" Christian band. Their words actually have meaning with tunes to match. (And come on, how may bands have a lead singer who's in a suit and tie on the main page of their website?)

H/T to Jeremy, one of my best friends, for introducing me to the song.

I don't speed


But yesterday was a sad exception. I had to drive to Madison and back in the same day. Not a problem. However, I was late in getting down to Madison for reasons outside of my own control.

I left downtown Madison at 4:20. I had a softball game at 7:00. In River Falls, WI.

Don't let MapQuest fool you. It does NOT take 4 hours to get from downtown Madison to Hoffman Field in River Falls.

Yes, I did give up speeding. Well, I gave up speeding over 5 mph over the speed limit. I think that counts.

However, my softball team was short. Really short. Like, only 7 guys showed up and they had to add a 17-year-old girl who didn't play just to have an official team. (By the way, nice job Hannah!) So of course, you can see the dire need to average 83 mph in a 65 zone. Mind you, half of the traffic - most of which along that corridor is from MN and IL - was going between 75 and 80. Still, I was smart about it.

Speeding takes a certain technique to do it and not get caught. Three times have failed to succeed with that technique. On four other occassions I failed but was let off the hook. Hence the reason I quit speeding (in addition to the fact that I, well, started to grow up).

I did pass four troopers. Two were ticketing someone else. One was facing my direction, but I couldn't tell which lane he was gunning. The fourth was definitely gunning my westbound lane. Herein lies the necessity for mastery of speeding technique.

Never go more than 15 over. Why? My only tickets have come at 16 over. 15 and under were all warnings. So how did I average 18 over?

Drive fast in between the turnarounds and exits. Those are where cops hang out. They don't hang out on rocky knolls on the edge of the road. They hang out where they're able to drive. So don't drive fast while you're driving by places they can drive, i.e., turnarounds and exits.

So, what time did I arrive in RF? Well, ask Martha. She pulled in at the same time as I did. If my memory serves me correctly, it was 7:33, top of the third inning.

(And don't worry Mom, that average of 83 mph...I was just guestimating, and I was only considering highway driving. If you include city driving, it was actually closer 75.487577639751552795031055900621 mph.)

Mwenda is right

I guess I never thought I'd come across a guy whose first name is Andrew and last name is Mwenda.

In any event, Andrew Mwenda is right.
"The best thing the West can do is to do nothing for Africa," Andrew Mwenda, a Ugandan writer and radio host, said during a recent visit to Britain....

"Throwing money at African dictators cannot be a solution to ending poverty," said Mwenda. He charged that democracy in Africa had been stalled by aid, because leaders focused on responding to donors, not their own citizens.
Amen and amen.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Poll results, new poll

It seems that more people are interested in music than in the 8th Congressional District race. Oh well.

Here are the results from the music poll. (Only those genres receiving votes are included.)
You only get one genre of music. Which is it?

Alternative rock: 3 (8%)
Christian: 10 (26%)
Classic rock: 1 (3%)
Classical: 3 (8%)
Country: 8 (21%)
Dance/electronic: 1 (3%)
Easy listening: 2 (5%)
Heavy metal: 2 (5%)
Hip-hop/rap: 1 (3%)
Indie/folk: 2 (5%)
Oldies: 1 (3%)
Opera: 1 (3%)
Come on Joey, haven't you heard of ____?: 4 (10%)
Not receiving votes were: Emo, Jazz/Blues, Latin, New Age, Pop, R & B, and Reggae.

I was surprised at the variety. We certainly have diversity in the Wide White audience. While Christian and Country did dominate, I was surprised by the variety among the other genres.

Considering that music is so popular, I'm starting a new feature in the right column. I'll call it "My favorite song right now." I'll keep it as up-to-date as I'm able.

For now, on to a new poll...

94% of Americans don't dig World Cup

Hey Matt, this guy has the answer to why America doesn't dig the World Cup.

(His name is Pat Sajak, and he's one of my favorites in the blogosphere. His post on the World Cup is currently at the top of "Sajak Says," which means a month from now it may have moved...he doesn't have a permalink for it yet.)

The nayshon's top publik skool?

First, consider this:
Mainland High School was ranked 403rd among the nation's top 1,200 schools in Newsweek Magazine's "America's Best High Schools" report from August 2005.
Now, here's what the valedictorian had to say to his class about that same school (bold emphasis mine):
The[ed] his June 20 valedictory speech to describe his education as "hollow" and one filled with "countless hours wasted in those halls."

"I felt like the most important questions were not asked." said Kareem Elnahal, the top rated student at Mainland Regional High School in Linwood, N.J. "Things like ethics, things that defined who we are, were ignored so in that way I thought it was hollow."
Elnahal told his audience that "the education we have received here is not only incomplete, it is entirely hollow."

"[It is] grade for the sake of a grade, work for the sake of work." Elnahal added....

"Ladies and gentlemen, the spirit of intellectual thought is lost," Elnahal said. "I know how highly this community values learning, and I urge you all to re-evaluate what it means to be educated," he concluded before leaving the ceremony without collecting his diploma.

Elnahal told Cybercast News Service that teachers refused to discuss certain topics because they were too closely tied to religious views. In his valedictory speech, he argued that there is a connection between a person's faith and that person's power of reasoning.

"Is there a creator? And if so, should we look to it for guidance," Elnahal asked the audience gathered at the high school graduation ceremony. "These are often dismissed as questions of religion, but religion is not something opposed to rationality. It simply seeks to answer such questions through faith."
What's even better is that what ticked off one of the administrators wasn't just what he said, but the fact that he didn't get it approved ahead of time. But aren't schools bastions of free speech and expression?

Whatever. I just wish I could have been there....

Friday, July 07, 2006

My governor is racist

Or at least that's the image that the Coalition for America's Families is portraying about Jim Doyle.

Check it out in this radio ad. (It plays in the browser in Quicktime.)


Thursday, July 06, 2006

The new stop sign

I was just on the phone with a guy who was trying to tell me the location of a certain place. His description: "It's at the corner of ___ and ___, down where they're putting the new stop sign in."

Small town America....

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

No, not "Happy Fourth of July." That's like saying "Happy December 25th!" It's stupid. Every country has a calendar. But only America has Independence Day on the fourth of July!

(And the Philippines. But whatever. They don't even recognize it anymore.)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Authentically black?

I was reading an article on how tough it is to be black and found a quote that...well, it puzzled me.
"Most black men are able to shift from a sort of relaxed, authentically black pose into a respectable black man pose. Either they develop the dexterity to move back and forth or ultimately they flounder."
Authentically black? I didn't know races had certain poses that were more authentic than others. But then, maybe that's because I'm authentically white, making me authentically racist in my perspective, right?

(Oh, and that quote came from a political scientist at the University of Chicago. Explains a lot....)