Monday, October 31, 2005


Here's a scary site for you all ... don't say I didn't warn you!! (don't worry, it's safe for work)

For an original idea located on Dave Barry's Blog.

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More on Libby Indictment

Don Luskin captures the essence of what's wrong with the Scooter Libby's indictment:

Ted Olson has said all that needs to be said:
Mr. Fitzgerald justified his subpoenas on the ground that the journalists were "eyewitnesses to the crime." But he was unable to establish, and he certainly hasn't charged, that there was a crime in the first place. If special prosecutors can be empowered to investigate allegations of conduct that isn't first established to be criminal, and to interrogate witnesses -- especially reporters -- about memories of distant conversations with sources regarding conduct that isn't plainly
criminal, there is no politically motivated allegation that can't be turned into a criminal cover-up.

Another case of the politics of personal destruction. Mark my words: like Ray Donovan before him, there will come a day when Mr. Libby will say 'now that I have been acquitted, how do I get my reputation back?'

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Confirm Judge Samuel Alito

I made it no secret here that I wasn't overjoyed with Harriet Myers nomination. I am, however, very happy that President Bush nominated Judge Samuel Alito.

Sen. Harry Reid is apparently disappointed; if that was all I knew of Judge Alito's background, it would be enough for me!

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Saturday, October 29, 2005

Goodbye Stranger, it's been nice.

One of the very first Blogs I ever read with earnest was Michele's A Small Victory. Her biting wit, reasoning and political analysis (with a healthy mix of rock and roll), kept me coming back day after day (long before I even knew what a feedreader was). The fact that she and I shared the same Long Island stomping grounds/watering holes may have contributed to my attraction, although it is most certain we never met (at least, not knowingly).

In one of her last posts, she pondered who were her readers blogfathers or blogmothers. While I can't say I had one specific blogparent, she would certainly be on my list; I intend to post such a list in the near future.

I've linked to her posts several times over the years, and I've encouraged my readers to add hers to your feedlists. If you haven't by now, it's too late; she's writing a novel presently, and while she stated her blogging pace would slow down (even more than in recent weeks), her main page now offers links to her 'best of' posts. The bright side is that she also offers a link to a blog that will feature her efforts to participate in the National Novel Writing Month, where she will attempt to write 50,000 words of a novel in one month's time. If anyone in my feedlist can do it, it is Michele.

So click on over to As Yet Untitled Scratch and Skip: A Novel in Progress and witness a work in progress.

I'll wager you won't be disappointed.

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Friday, October 28, 2005

So much for Fitzmas

In spite of all the glee surrounding a possible Fitzmas present, the Left has to be happy with only one indictment.

Mark Noonan at Blogs For Bush succinctly writes:

In a rather bizarre turn of events, the printing of the name of a non-covert employe of the CIA by a journalist - whom, as far I as know, still hasn't advised us who told him the name of the CIA employee - has resulted in the indictment of the Vice President's Chief of Staff. Indicted for lying to the Grand Jury...lying about something which wasn't a crime. Covering up, as it were, that which didn't need to be covered up. Strange world.

I don't have much time to get deep into this - and, of course, we really don't know all the facts of the case as of yet - but a couple things strike me as odd:

  1. From news reports, it appears that Libby told the GJ that he heard Plame's name from a reporter, but then some notes turned up showing that Libby might have heard the name first from the VP - notes which were then voluntarily surrendered to the Special Prosecutor (in other words, they weren't destroyed or otherwise Rose Law Firm billing records, or something).

  2. It appears that Libby only in the last day or two sought legal counsel - meaning that he didn't think he'd done anything he'd need a lawyer for until just recently. Libby is, from all accounts, a pretty sharp lawyer in his own right - which means he knows that if he's in trouble, then legal counsel is needed right away. The fact that Libby didn't feel such a necessity speaks volumes.

  3. The investigation was into whether or not any Bush Administration official illegally leaked the name of a covert CIA agent - should the Special Prosecutor at least advised us if that had happened? If it didn't happen, then shouldn't we get a detailed explanation of why he's bringing charges against a man for allegedly lying about something he didn't need to lie about?

Happy Nuptuals to Mark, regardless!

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Harriet Miers withdraws

It's official, she's withdrawn her nomination (statement).

Not an earth-shattering decision, I say. I gave and still give the President the benefit of the doubt that she would have been a competent Justice. But the signals from the Senate portended defeat (and I don't mean simply from the Liberal Sen. Arlen Spector).

Of course, now that she's withdrawn, consider what I suggested three weeks ago (opens to new window). Maybe the plan was to grease the skids for another Scalia or Thomas.

We can always hope!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Short Attention Span Posting

For those with little time (or short attention spans), it's Quick Hits.

  • Michelle Malkin offers a photo comparison of Secretary of State Dr. Condoleeza Rice. First, she shows the image published in last week’s USA Today, where Dr. Rice’s eyes appear as one would expect in a horror movie. Then Michelle shows the original, un-retouched AP photo.

    And you thought such editorializing was left for TIME Magazine.

  • Tammy Bruce gives respect to the 2000 soldiers who have died in Iraq, having given their live in defense of freedom everywhere, by offering a sobering comparison of the numbers of Sailors and Marines who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II. Listing the battles and the totals of those two services dead – noting that in some individual battles had more than 2000 men dead – a total of 51,983 had died.

    And that’s only counting Navy and Marines.

  • Reality Hammer offers some glimmer of hope, in his post noting that Senators have finally decided to get serious about federal spending. Echoing sentiments made in this humble blog, he goes on to write:
    The Republicans in Congress better be seriously thinking about reviving the Contract With America for 2006 because I know the Democrats are!
    Sage advice, indeed!

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I feel so special

Look! My first comment spam! In yesterday's post on how a guy I know was getting shafted in the courts, someone decided to inform me about a 'scheme' involving credit reports. It has since been deleted and reported as spam, but I preserve the image here, sans the link.

Now that I get spam, does that mean my Blog has arrived ?

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Racist Rants

Blonde Sagacity writes about a duet, who apparently got a lot of publicity having been featured on DrudgeReport (archive link):

The two girls pictured, Lamb and Lynx Gaede, comprise the band "Prussian Blue". They have been performing since they were nine years old (they're now 13) and, unlike Avril Lavigne or Hillary Duff, they're not singing about boys and teenage angst...their message is one of white supremacy.

At first I was almost as annoyed with Drudge as I was with these two girls, their family 'values', and the people who would buy their message. Why Drudge? These two were anonymous in the world, save for a few radicals. With the number of hits Drudge pulls, these twins got worldwide attention.

But maybe that is a good thing. Maybe if we know more about these people who preach hate, as cute as they may appear, we can learn to deal with them and their rhetoric. And that's more than not buying their CDs, but in changing many racist things that are commonly accepted today.

As ALa writes:

Here's the thing though...what is modern day America doing to help this? How can we say this is wrong when we have other race-separating things like the "Black Movie Awards". It always seems to me that the ones looking to "make things even" are the ones highlighting the distinctions. Why can't there just be AMERICANS -- no hyphens? Just "Movie Awards" with nothing before it, for the most deserving of all races? As long as the hyphens remain and we divide ourselves...there will be a bigger opening for people like April Gaede...raising tomorrow's racists.
Keep that in mind the next few days. There will a lot said Rosa Parks, and a lot of it will be well deserved. But watch carefully for the rhetoric that is divisive, and ask how it balances against the equality that Mrs. Parks and others deserved long before that fateful day she took her stand (by sitting down), and ask yourself who is actually yelling the loudest for race-separation.

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My blog is worth $107,262.60.
How much is your blog worth?

OK, so now we know how much this humble blog is worth.

Do I hear an opening bid???

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Scales of Justice, tipped.

G.C. is a guy I work with.   We’re in the same office, the same floor, but outside of matters dealing with the job, we haven’t really chatted about much.   The other day we had to visit the Corporate HQ, which is about a mile from our office.  I offered to drive; a rare off-work conversation ensued in the few minutes of our ride.

G. related to me the headache he’s been wrestling with.  His first wife, from whom he’s been divorced for several years, was causing him static over child support, but with a unique twist.   G. was divorced from her when they both lived in Massachusetts; he now lives in New Jersey, she in Georgia.   In a completely separate issue before the courts this passed June,  G. was successful in gaining custody of his teen-age son.  

Let’s recap: G. had custody of his son, so the whole debate over child support should be moot, right?

Wrong; since the divorce and child support was decided in Massachusetts, and the recent custody hearing was held in Georgia (or New Jersey… on this point I am unclear, but it is not specifically important), G’s ex-wife has successfully filed a judgment against him for failure to pay her child support ….  Support on a child for which he has custody.

Apparently, the courts in Massachusetts do not see fit to recognize the fact that the boy no longer lives with the mom.  So this man is penalized for playing by the rules.   He can petition the Massachusetts court for redress, of course… more of his own money chasing after bad law.

There was a time in the country when the judicial system was slanted towards men over women.   That time has long passed, and the scales have gone too far to the other side.

In a completely unrelated topic, this story highlights a knack I seem to possess.  Many times over the last 20 years, people whom I am more than a little acquainted with, but not who I would call a ‘friend’, share the details of their life to me in a fairly detailed manner.  If it had been one or two people, I would mark it to chance;  but thinking back it seems to happen often.

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Monday, October 24, 2005

Criminalization of Politics

The Criminalization of Politics --- that’s the buzzword these days.   And it’s true… people who are following rules, even those that are archaic or perhaps poorly written, are being hauled into court (or worse) for playing the same game all the other pols are playing.

Yet a belligerent  prosecutor, in the case of Rep Tom DeLay, has succeeded in manipulating a few indictments against the former Majority Whip of the  House.   I feel confident in using the word belligerent because reports from the Grand Jury pool have called the temperament of Texas District Attorney Ronnie Earle as much, after they declined to indict Mr. DeLay.  I can use the word manipulating because DA Earle was found to have successfully indicted Mr. DeLay on a charge he violated a law that was not yet in effect at the time the alleged crime was committed.

The Criminalization of Politics, The Politics of Personal Destruction --  call it what you will, but the Democratic Party (and its key representatives) have obviously found they lack any real message the people want to hear.

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Well another weekend came and went.  The northeast has been socked in with rain… last night we had a frost warning, this morning a flash-flood warning, now they’re talking about more than a dusting of snow in the higher elevations.   Can’t say it’s dull around here!

Saturday was the 22nd of October, a very dreary day; what fantastic idea did my much-better-half suggest?   Why, A drive-in movie, of course!  I had half-jokingly forwarded to her an e-mail I received from our local drive-in, saying they were extending their season one more weekend;  I honestly didn’t expect her to say ‘why not?’  

So we gathered the kidlets and headed out to see the 7:40 pm showing of WALLACE AND GROMET, a very appropriate flick for the kids, and one that gave the adults a few laughs, too!  The people who would create such silliness out of claymation have far too much time on their hands, and I envy them for it!!

We were among about 6 cars watching the movie, in the brief sprinkle that came, went, came again, left, and came back as downright rain for the last 10 minutes.    The defroster (and engine, of course) probably ran the cost of the movie higher than I would have liked, but what the hey, it was a movie and everyone enjoyed it.   All the snack bar food was marked down … they don’t want to store it all winter, and we were treated to a free pass to an evening next season.  

It was a nice way to spend a wet Saturday.  And that sets a new record for my theater attendance:  four first run movies in a year; I haven’t seen that many (in a year) in over 10 years!

(pathetic, ain’t it?)

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Useful tip

If you're ever out and about and need a place to do some work quickly, don't forget your nearby hotel.

I ducked in to a Courtyard by Mariott today to fire off some e-mails and return some calls. I've used this trick from time to time over the last 20 years, generally for the purposes of returning phone calls that I didn't want overheard at the office (this was pre-cell phone days).

Today, however, I've enjoyed free wireless access, coffee, and a copy of the Wall Street Journal.

Now I'm done for the day, and am heading home.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Regarding Valerie Plame investigation

I’ve been so busy of late I haven’t said much of anything substantive recently, especially on politics. Worse, my unread count in BlogLines is starting to resemble my car’s odometer.

Today I did a quick scan and came across some excellent insight from Kevin Aylward at WizBang!

Kevin points to a piece written by a NYU Journalism professor that posited the argument that the New York Times is no longer entitled to the great reputation the Ol’ Grey Lady had long enjoyed. I’ve long assailed the Times for their unvarnished partisanship, so it is always good to read someone else (especially from another esteemed institution) say the same thing. Both Kevin and the Prof suggest Washington Post as now being the #1 paper, moving the Times into 2nd. I don’t have the time to appreciate my blogroll, and even less to consistently review the WaPo, but I should do my best to become more familiar with it.

Kevin goes on to sample a portion of yesterday’s WaPo editorial regarding the Valerie Plame investigation. As he sums up:

Make sure you read the whole editorial, as Post editors do a better job of defending Judith Miller from the sniping criticism of colleagues than her own paper is doing.
I have read it, and he is dead-on target. Follow the link and see if you disagree.

And for the record, while I have already provided photos that show the kind of ‘deep cover’ Ms. Plame allegedly held, Macsmind has a nice shot of her and Amb. Wilson shaking hands with President Clinton in 1999.

Hmmmmm Did C-SPAN blow her cover first??

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Unflattering Photo

At the risk of repeating myself, what is wrong with Allstate and their choice of photos? I just accessed their site and I find these same two kids, again! Now I don't wish to offend the children involved... Lord knows the only way someone can take a good picture of me is if they leave the lens cap on. But I still say the kid on the right looks spooky, and not because he's upside-down.
See what I mean??

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Monday, October 17, 2005

Fun Meme; What you need...

I am so strapped for time; I’ve barely read anything for more than a week.  However, I can’t resist a meme, especially one aptly named ‘fun meme’, as Gina offers.  

Here’s the rules: put your first name, followed by needs into a Google Search.  Publish the first 15, without duplicates.

Charlie needs….

  • … a Cloak (apparently a popular book for kids)

  • … needs Liam to give him something to blur the edges of reality.  (Like, Duuuuude….)

  • … a good ear scratch.   (Pant, pant)

  • … the opportunity to try out various activities that are appropriate for his skill level.

  • … to count off seconds to assist Claire's childbirth, "1 sugar plum fairy, 2 sugar plum fairy.  (Me thinks my much-better-half would have made herself a widow had I did that!)

  • …to be housebroken, to understand whose stuff is whose.

  • … to transcribe all his work.

  • …  a reliable "come" recall so when you send him over/through an obstacle you don't spend the next five minutes trying to catch him again.

  • … a tooth removed, [and] while under the influence of gas, he imagines he's fighting with comedian, Fred Allen.

  • … a new nice woman".  (Hey now, lets not let my much-better-half read this!)

  • … the money for gambling debts, and robbing the train would have theadded benefit of angering Charlie's and John's harsh, corrupt boss.

  • … two algorithms. The first one, which we’ll call “generate”, takes an Internet address (in the form of a string like “”) and produces an email address in the domain. The second algorithm, which we’ll call “check”, takes an email address A in, and an Internet address S, and returns True if and only if S is supposed to be able to send email to A – that is, if A could have been produced by a call to generate(S).  (Makes sense to me.)

  • … to be writing for a major news magazine.  (Yeah, right.)

  • … needs to give Hurley some private "singing" lessons though. (Apparently a reference to a character from ABC’s LOST?)

  • … the playful mischievousness of Julia Roberts or the feisty spunkof Renee Zellweger. (First I am a dog getting his ears scratched, then I am told to get a new woman, now I am going Hollywood.)  

What do you need?  Link back or post your link in comments.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The ultimate in weird

Unless you’ve stumbled into this Blog of late, you know a little about my professional background.   Very little, unless you are one of the few whom I have had the pleasure to work with (Sue, Hank, you know who you are).  For the rest of you, a brief recap:

I worked for Company C (well, really I worked for Company N, who was subcontracted out to Company C, but that’s besides the point of this story).  I worked pretty much at one location for some time, about 8 years.  That’s a lifetime in IT, or so it seems.  7 of those years on Project J, and one year on Project L.  The latter project had me working in other buildings, but Project J kept me in a small office park: three buildings, a total of 6 office floors in total, and the majority of the time I was in the second floor of the middle building.

This minutiae has a purpose.  I told you all over a year ago I leapt to Project L because the lifespan on Project J had run its course from Development to Sustainment, not at all an unusual turn of events.  Project J was in its twilight years, so I moved to greener pastures, or so I thought.   Several delays on project deliveries made Project L face budget shortfalls, and I was laid off in July ’04.  Ancient history.

I got picked up by another contractor that had won a bid to provided Sustainment of Project J; that’s the funny thing about government contracts: they go out for bids from time to time, and you have to compete for them all over again, even if you were the main architect of the original project design.

Fate smiled in my direction, and in November of last year I was hired by the new company who will be running the Sustainment of Project J.   The old company, C had control of the main support center until 10 days ago.  They’ll now be the hands-on SysAdmins, but we call the shots and are responsible for directing them.  So this week, all of the development hardware, software, data, documentation, the works, has to be transported from their offices to ours.  Eventually, we’ll move the support center, but it’ll be a coordinated move and one that involves far too many details to list here.

So this week and last I’ve been in my old stomping grounds.  I’m ‘the old man’ on the project, since I have the seniority from the old job.  Far too many of Company C’s people were laid off, and far too few were migrated to Project L.  Of the ones left, it’s a bitter-sweet kind of thing.   The J-Team people left are pretty secure in their future employment, at least for the year, but after working on a project so long, seeing a bunch of people you largely don’t know taking your equipment isn’t at all easy.

What I find weird is what I am experiencing.  I left the place over a year ago.  I had my guy checks… leaving the development labs I worked so long at, the coffee room, the desks where I shared so many laughs with so many people.  I did it all.  

And now I am doing it again.  This time is different, because as I dismantle the web server I called my own, I know its going to my lab, and while it may not necessarily be in my own work-area any more, I can touch it (literally, figuratively) anytime I want to in the future.  

I walked to where my desk was.  I say was, because they’ve gutted the floor, and they are soon to install new cubicles for the new expansion of Project L. I miss that fun and laughs, the good and not-so-good times shared with my cube mate.   She’s safely working on Project L, so our paths have gone their separate ways.  We’ll have lunch this week, to be sure.

I am saddened by the thoughts of the colleagues whose jobs were lost because Project L was mismanaged, and could not absorb them fast enough.  I am saddened by the fact that Project J need not have left Company C at all.

This is an epilogue to the story that ended last year.  A new volume has begun, with the story (Project J) being roughly the same.  

Like I said: weird.

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How old am I?

So this guy I work with and I are swapping various comedy bits from old TV shows, old even by TVLand standards. He and I amazed each other with our recall.

The following discussion then transpires:

He: So, I have what? 10 years on you?
Me: What do you mean?
He: I'm 47.. how old are you?
Me: I am (pause) xx1.
He: Wait... you had to figure out your age?
Me: I told you, I am ...
He: I heard you. But before you answered you looked up for a split-second. You had to figure out your age!
Me: OK, so?
He: You don't know how old you are?
Me: I know how to count.
He: You had to figure it out! You didn't know.
Me: OK, so what's your point?
He: How does a person not know how old he is?
Me: I know it when I need to know it.
He: Who the hell needs to figure out their age? They should know it.
Me: Aren't you obsessing a little about this?
He: (to others) He needs to figure out how old he is!

So let me conduct a highly unscientific poll: do you 'know' how old you are?

And is this guy right: is it unusual to have to 'figure out' how old I am?

1No, I won't disclose my age; suffice it to say he did not have 10 years on me.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Blog decision, care to share your opinion

I've been given an opportunity to migrate this humble Blog to WordPress... not the full product with my own host, but on the same level as Blogger.

I have noted some pros and cons on my own review... so I turn to you, my readers. The logs show you come back from time to time, so I can tell you have at least a passing interest in this site. What do you think of

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Could it be?

Could it be?

Could it be that President Bush is using Harriet Miers to further his anticipated nominations of Supreme Court Justices?

People who are known to be more Conservative than either Ms. Miers or Chief Justice John Roberts were filibustered in the Senate – think Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owens, and John Bolton – which was against long established Senate rules.  So now we have Ms. Miers, who is hardly a staunch Conservative.   Maybe he’s drawing a line in the sand for the Senate.  

If the minority party gave such grief over the likes Judges Brown, Owens and Mr. Bolton, all of whom are praised by Conservatives, they can’t very well give any static towards Ms. Miers.   If they do, Mr. Bush can easily nominate either Brown or Owens (or others like them) and force the Democrats to vote against them, showing them to be the party of obstruction, yet again.

If the Senate approves Ms. Miers with little or no battle (hardly likely), he can nominate other, more Conservative judges, demonstrating his diversity in candidates.

What’s that? You don’t think they’ll be other nominations?  Did you forget this post in July? There may well be 3 other openings in the next three years.

I said yesterday I support Ms. Miers nomination; I can’t say I am thrilled by it, but I am hopeful the President has a bigger picture we’re not privy to yet.  I am still banking on his pledge to nominate judges who reflect the principles of Justices Scalia and Thomas.

The critics have frequently misunderestimated President Bush… critics on both sides of the aisle may well be doing so again.

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Free Market Radio

The power of the free market is evident in talk radio.

With the continued low-ratings of AirAmerica Radio, it came as little surprise that proudly Liberal Progressive Talk Radio network lost an affiliate in Philadelphia, WHAT.  

Philadelphia Inquirer: WHAT aired Air America's programming from noon to 7 p.m. weekdays, sandwiched between the rest of its lineup. The juxtaposition of liberal talk and WHAT's African America-targeted talk programming seemed an odd fit from the start.
Ratings were abysmal.

The City of Brotherly Love (the #6 market, nationwide) could hardly be called a Red City, having been frequently paired with Pittsburgh as the two Democratic voting strongholds inside an otherwise largely Red-voting State.  

See?  Ratings do count in a commercial environment.

On the opposite side of the country, San Francisco’s AM Talk Show host Melanie Morgan was shown the door on Friday, this in spite of her track record of substantial success (and no accusations of inflammatory rhetoric). ABC Radio, after reportedly getting a lot of static from listeners and supporters, has decided to rethink their plans and have rehired Ms. Morgan with a 2½ year contract.  Not bad, considering she wasn’t considered a talent that they wanted to stick with.

Moral: Ratings do count in a free market environment.   Keep that in mind the next time someone asks to buy a bumper sticker for $16.67.

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Bullet Items

  • I am disappointed to learn Dr. William Bennett has resigned his chairmanship of K12.
    McLean, VA -- October 3, 2005 - K12, Inc. today announced that William J. Bennett has resigned as an employee, and as Chairman and member of the company's Board of Directors, effective immediately. K12 Inc. said the Board accepted his resignation, thanking him for his contributions to the company. K12 Inc. said that it has no relationship with, or involvement in, Dr. Bennett's radio program. The opinions expressed by Dr. Bennett on his radio program are his and his alone. More

    Once again, Liberals can say most anything without the slightest repercussion (examples: AAR, Dr. Howard Dean), but if a Conservative delivers an extensive point, you can be sure the media will extrapolate one portion of it, out of context, and make that person look like a villain. La Shawn Barber dissects the controversy and reveals, with facts, how correct Dr. Bennett’s analysis actually is:
    You may think Bennett was a dunce for saying it, but a statistic is not “racist.” Please, please, please stop the ignorance! If you have statistics that show the opposite or something different, then by all means, post the darn thing. Anger is one thing and hatred for me is another. I’m not marching in lockstep, so I understand your frustration. But don’t come on this blog using up my bandwidth to drop rants devoid of facts. It’s getting OLD. Use Google or something.
    It is a sad day for K12, a program that so many benefit from.

  • I support President Bush’s nomination of Harriet Meirs to the Supreme Court. It strikes me as odd that he would not yet take advantage of his party’s majority in the Senate to pick someone like Judges Janice Rogers Brown or Priscilla Owens (or any other well credentialed Conservative). However, his choices for judicial positions have been dead-on to date, so I will trust that he has learned from his father’s error.

  • I realize that some browsers are not displaying bullet items well (such as the ones in this posting)… and that the newly added ‘open links in new window’ option seems sporadic. These and other issues are being investigated… Big changes are a coming in this blog… stay tuned.

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Monday, October 03, 2005

The Game Show Poet

Farewell Nipsey Russel


Mobile Email from a Cingular Wireless Customer

One of the foibles of mobile blogging is that sometimes the interface is annoying. While I was keying this entry, at about 4:06 PM (ET), I inadvertently sent it without a title.

And while I will leave it here for now, since Cingular insists on dinging me a dime for the convenience of SMS posting, I will remove their footer hereinafter.

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