June 30, 2004

A BAD problem

But also a problem with a bad definition

A report by Hofstra University researcher Charol Shakeshaft (no jokes, please) estimates that approximately 1 in 10 students suffer some form of inappropriate sexual conduct by teachers and other school personnel during their time in school. Another researcher, Robert Shoop of Kansas State University, suggest that the estimate may be too low due to the historical underreporting of such offenses.

This study is not based on new research, but is instead an extrapolation from earlier research by the American Association of University Women and other researchers.

Needless to say, there is outrage on the part of teachers groups, lawmakers, and others concerned with education.

But there is a problem with the data. Or more accurately, with the characterization of the data and the definition used of sexual misconduct. The report certainly categorizes molestation and rape as sexual misconduct, but it also expands the definition to include telling a dirty joke or conduct that might qualify as sexual harassment.

And I guess this is where my problem with the study arises. Does a problem exist with sexual abuse in schools? You bet it does. I've worked in a school where the guidance counselor divorced his wife in March and ran off with the valedictorian to get married in Vegas the day after graduation, only to have a baby in November. And we will never forget Mary Kay what's-her-name getting knocked up by her middle school beau. Folks like that need to be ruthlessly exposed and put where they can never harm a child.

But there is behavior which is less egregious that got lumped together with such misdeeds. And I don't mean to minimize inappropriate conduct, but it trivializes the truly serious incidents to put garden-variety inappropriate comments and looks in the same category as sleeping with a student. And since there was no new research conducted, and no standardization of methodology, I wonder about the validity of the study's conclusions.

But my biggest fear of all is that we are about to see a witch hunt very like that which has so recently taken place in the Catholic Church. I fear that the whisper of an allegation will be as good as a conviction, and that good teachers will be destroyed by misguided zealots armed with this study. Call me paranoid if you will -- but I watched the "guilty until proven innocent" standard take hold a dozen years ago, and remember the mantra that "the victim must always be believed." I saw Crucible-style justice meted out, with one dear friend utterly destroyed because a parent made an accusation that the alleged-victim (by this time in his mid-20s) vehemently denied.

I would rather not relive those days.

|| Greg, 11:55 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 29, 2004

School backs down in the face of backlash

I've been following the developments in the case of NYC student Tiffany Schley, the valedictorian of the High School of Legal Studies who was denied her diploma for criticizing the school in her graduation speech. The more details that emerge in this case, the more unacceptable the conduct of the administrators appears. The fact that the school board refuses to apologize is simply outrageous.

What was her crime? It was commenting on the various administrative changes that impacted her education during her senior year of high school. Since end of her junior year the school has had FOUR different principals. The administration has been less than open to student concerns about the changes, and repeatedly told students who did express concerns that the issues were none of their business. Tiffany chronicled it all in her speech about the challenges she and her classmates had faced on their path to graduation. The result was the refusal of the school to give her the diploma she had earned and to have security escort the girl and her mother off campus when they arrived to pick up the diploma as scheduled.

Now it turns out that the school had been trying to censor her speech all along. Advisors repeatedly removed references to school problems and inserted praise for the very people who had shown nothing but lack of concern for the education of students.

Fortuantely, Tiffany will get her diploma Thursday night in a special ceremony at her church. And the incident will do nothing to keep this spunky young lady from starting her education on time this fall. SHe will be a freshman at Smith College, on full academic scholarship.

|| Greg, 07:37 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 28, 2004


Well, we hope not.

I know that is my fondest home, as a member of the Harris County GOP's Ballot Security Committee. We work really hard to make sure that Election Judges, Alternate Election Judges, and Precinct Workers are all trained in election law so as to ensure free, fair, and clean elections in the county. Considering the Alternate Election Judge in Precinct is the Loyal Opposition (I am the Election Judge), I have no doubt of that in our corner of the world.

National GOP Chair Ed Gillespie has proposed that the GOP and Dems set up joint pollwatching teams to monitor elections in Missouri. The idea is transparent, non-partisan investigation and observation of the polls so as to ensure clean elections. The goal would be to cut down on fraud and increase credibility of charges of voting irregularities., especially in light of large voter registration drives in that state by liberal groups and America Coming Together.

Like I said, sounds like a good idea to me. Free and clean elections have always seemed important to me.

But guess what -- the liberals are already saying this is about vote suppression.

I assume clean elections are too much for them to handle.

|| Greg, 11:33 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Buckley steps down!

"The question is choose some point to quit or die onstage, and there wouldn't be any point in that."

While we are talking about legends, let me stop to express my shock at the decision of William F. Buckley, the father of National Review, to step aside from his duties of controlling the magazine. If anyone has earned a right to a good rest it is Buckley, who for half a century had been one of the most recognizable voices in conservatism. No, that isn't sufficient -- more than any single man, he is responsible for defining what is and is not within the mainstream of conservative thought in the US. National Review has always been open to the various voices of conservatism, but Buckley made a point of closing it to racists and anti-Semites, including the ejection of Joe Sobran from its pages in a well-publicize dust-up in the 1980s.

One thing I found interesting -- in half a century NR has never shown a profit. Rather, a group of 1000-1500 donors makes up the difference at the end of every year.

|| Greg, 11:20 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Giving Miss Essie her due.

I've always been ambivalent about Strom Thurmond. I think that is true of most Americans. After all, here was a man who was an arch-segregationist, who filibustered much of the leading civil rights legislation of the 1950s and 1960s (he went nearly 24 hours on one bill -- we should make the Hildebeast do the same on judicial nominations) who later became a supporter of equal opportunity. Here is a man who should have been political toast after the Dixiecrat fiasco, but who went on to serve close to five decades in Washington aftewards, and who died something f a beloved institution (Trent Lott not withstanding).

But not long ago we found out about the skeleton in his closet -- an illegitimate daughter, fathered on a 16 year old black maid some eight decades ago. Essie Mae Washington-Williams held her piece for decades, living in the shadows of the world where such children existed for generations. Out of loyalty for a father who provided opportunities for her when and as he could, but who never publicly acknowledged her existance, she kept the secret of his youthful indiscretion through times when she could have literally destroyed him and only came forward after his death.

And now she will be added to his monument in the South Carolina capitol -- assuming her rightful place in the public eye as his eldest child. It is fitting and proper.

God bless you, Miss Essie.

|| Greg, 11:10 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 27, 2004

A writer who doesn't insult your intelligence.

I love Vin Suprynowicz, who writes for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. On a weekly basis he is one of the best reads on the net -- even on those Sundays when he writes about Vegas and Nevada politics instead of the larger world. Vin is also a libertarian True Believer. As a result you get things that are the written equivalent your best-friend's mom's meatloaf and mashed potato dinner -- stick-to your brain cells columns that are intellectually nutritious but have a little unusual flavor that your mom's cooking lacks.

I mean, who else would title a column "Shuffling to the sound of the Morlocks' dinner bell"?It is sad to say, but too many folks just wouldn't catch the reference to H.G. Wells. In the column, Vin explains how Michael Badnarik upset Aaron Russo at this month's Libertarian National Convention and became that party's nominee. It makes for a good read and is loaded with good insight as to how the best funded campaign, best-organized imploded on the convention floor. I may just use this and his previous column (commented upon last week) in my Government class when I talk about third parties.

Moveover, he makes a solid case for actually voting Libertarian -- if you accept his premise that there is not a dime's worth of difference between the major parties:

I will cast that vote on Nov. 2, and get my ass whupped (politically speaking), and go to bed proud and justified.

In contrast, 95 percent of you (if you bother going to the polls at all -- and who can blame you for your increasing sense of mortification? You must start to feel like the Eloi, shuffling in to the sound of the Morlocks' dinner bell in H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine") will vote for a lying politician who you know to be a lying politician -- one of two interchangeable Skull & Bonesmen without any discernible political principles, who (no matter which wins) will proceed to raise your taxes, take away more of your freedoms, and continue frittering away whatever remains of America's reputation for decency by continuing the violent military occupation of scores of foreign countries that have never attacked nor declared war upon us. All this in hopes of temporarily propping up the bottom lines of sundry well-heeled banks, oil companies and federally subsidized engineering and construction firms.

Maybe not enough for me to abandon the GOP, but certainly grounds for respecting his principles and his writing.

|| Greg, 11:41 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 26, 2004

Cuba a beacon of democracy for the oppressive US?

Where do public colleges and universities find folks like this???

When I was a college student in the mid-1980s, Illinois State University had the old Stalinist in the English Department, daily agitating for a socialist revolution from 8-4 before going home to his mini-mansion in his Mercedes. We also had the guy in my beloved Political Science Department who quoted Lenin and Marx in his US government classes and hung pictures of himself with Castro and Ortega all over his office -- until he inherited his uncle's multi-million dollar commercial real estate empire and moved out west to live the life of the capitalist oppressor.

I thought of these guys today as I read a piece by University of Minnesota professor August Nimitz on (Red) He begins with standard leftist anti-war ranting, saying:

I agree that gross human rights violations are commonplace in Cuba -- in the US-occupied Cuban territory of Guantanamo! The abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad have their immediate roots in Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo. For these and other reasons -- particularly, the bipartisan offensive against domestic democratic rights in the name of fighting terrorism -- I reject the democratic pretensions of Washington and those who claim to speak on its behalf, such as Weiner and Buchanan.

But then he continues on to argue that because of Castro, the people of Cuba have greater political and economic rights than Americans!

I hope that Nimitz sleeps well tonight, dreaming of the revolution -- probably in a McMansion with a couple of SUVs in the garage. And I hope those dreams accurately reflect the historical reality that when the Communist Revolution comes, it is usually the bourgeois intellectuals like him who are among the first to be shot by the revolutionaries.

|| Greg, 10:48 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Top Bishop Supports Federal Marriage Amendment!

Not-so-conservative bishop promotes common-sense change.

Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, has come out in support of the Federal Marriage Amendment and urged is brother bishops to do the same.

"This situation challenges Catholics -- and all who seek the truth -- to think deeply about the meaning of marriage, its purposes and its value to individuals, families and society."

Supporters of gay marriage immediately attacked Gregory, the Bishop of Belleville, IL, and the Catholic Church as a whole, for speaking out in support of a definition which has two millennia of support in Catholic teaching and practice.

On a personal note, I would like to say I am pleasantly surprised by this story. I first met Bishop Gregory 14 years ago when I entered the seminary, and he became the bishop of the diocese for which I studied about six months before I left the seminary to determine if teaching or the priesthood was my real vocation. Gregory is a brilliant man, but also a gentle pastor, and I did not expect so public a statement of support for the FMA, even though I knew that would be his position.

|| Greg, 11:31 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 25, 2004

America loses a great public servant

Solicitor General Ted Olson, whose arguments persuaded the Supreme Court to order a constitutionally acceptable vote count in Florida and who later lost his lovely wife, conservative comentator Barbara Olson, in the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, will resign his position aftr the current Supreme Court term ends this summer.

After his wife's death, Olson became an outspoken defender of administration policies in the war on teror. Recognizing the flagging support for that effort on the part of the Left, in 2003 Olson recalled the deaths of so many Americans on 9/11, in particular his wife, who stayed on the phone reporting what was happening until her flight hit the Pentagon. "Their suffering and deaths must fuel our dedication to stamp out this cancer," Olson said.

|| Greg, 11:20 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Some things just need saying.

Dems outraged that VP uses curse word on Senate floor that they support being used on television and radio, or in anti-Republican rants at Leftist rallies.

After a heated exchange over political charges and counter charges, Vice President Dick Cheney popped off at Senator Patrick Leahy, using the "F-word". The Senate was not in session at the time.

Which is worse -- directing the "F-word" at someone who is something of a peer during a heated discussion, or directing it at a public servant whose job it is to throw himself in front of a bullet directed at you because he didn't anticipate your direction on a snowboard (as John Kerry did)?

Oh, that's right, this is the sacred Senate floor, occupied by such fine individuals as Ted "I left Mary Jo underwater in the car 12 hours ago while I was drunk" Kennedy, Robert "I'm a Klansman and I'd rather the country be destroyed than fight to preserve it beside a nigger" Byrd, and Patrick "I don't care if it will cost the life of an agent, leaking this top secret info will make me look important" Leahy.

Perhaps most telling was the arrogance displayed by Leahy during one of his "Mommy!!!!!!! Dick said a dirty word!" interviews:

"I was here before Mr. Cheney, and I'll probably be here after he leaves. I'm more interested in how Vermonters feel about me."

If that were true, you wouldn't have run to the press and given all these interviews about something so petty, Pat.

The only thing Cheney has to apologize for is not having given the guy a good dressing down earlier. And the VP seems to agree with me, along with a number of senators.

|| Greg, 11:05 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Judge offers clintonian apology -- Still needs to be impeached

Judge Guido Calabresi says he is sorry for comparing George W. Bush to Hitler and Mussolini.

"My remarks were extemporaneous and, in hindsight, reasonably could be - and indeed have been - understood to do something which I did not intend, that is, take a partisan position," Calabresi wrote in a letter of apology to Chief Judge John Walker.


In his letter of apology, Calabresi said he was ``deeply sorry'' for remarks that were meant as ``a rather complicated academic argument about the nature of re-elections after highly contested original elections'' - but that were ``too easily taken as partisan.''

Unfortunately, your honor, your "complicated academic argument" included a call for the American people to "remove" the president from office. And your wife was up at Yale a few weeks ago to protest the presence of President and Mrs. Bush at their own daughter's graduation -- and was quoted (see end of the article) as saying she was doing so on your behalf. You issued no denial of that statement. Given the proximity to your partisan rant, you need to resign or be impeached.

And by the way -- this is the same appellate judge who ruled that even though the Supreme Court ruled the Boy Scouts had the constitutional right to exclude homosexuals from the organization, a state could make them "pay a price" for doing so. So apparently he has a wholesale disregard for the Constitution, not just the portions creating the Electoral College and the Supreme Court.

|| Greg, 10:38 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 24, 2004

Could it be from a need to anesthetize the pain and guilt?

Women whose first unplanned pregnancy ends in abortion are significantly more likely to become drunks and junkies. That is the result of a study published in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse this month. It is the 20th such article published in recent years -- but the silence is deafening in the media.

Why is it that the rate of substance abuse is double among aborted women? It isn't because of pre-abortion substance abuse, for the study limited itself to those who had no previous history of substance abuse. It appears to be a psychological response to the procedure.

Pro-life groups consider the results important as a tool for counseling against abortion and helping women who have had the procedure. Anti-life groups (including NOW and NARAL) refuse to comment, and will no doubt work to discredit these results rather than using them to help women.

|| Greg, 11:46 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Some folks just don't get it!

Separation of Church and State is a myth imposed upon the United States by Supreme Court edict. It certainly is not in the Constitution. Indeed, the only restrictions that exist regarding religion apply to GOVERNMENT action, not CHURCH action. Churches are, in fact, guaranteed the right to speak out on public issues by both the free exercise clause and the free speech clauses of the First Amendment.

While some would argue that restrictions on politicking by churches is part of their trade-off for tax exempt status, the holding in McCullough v. Maryland would seem to imply that churches could never be taxed in any way, shape, or form. After all, "the power to tax is the power to destroy." And it is definitively NOT within the purview of any government entity in the United States to destroy a religion.

And so we come back to the question of the Catholic bishops and anti-life politicians like John Kerry. Several bishops have stated that the presumptive nominee (and other anti-life politicians) will be denied communion within their respective dioceses, while others have attempted to engage the candidate in a less confrontational manner. This last week, the bishops agreed that individual bishops may choose the path that they believe to be the most prudent. But strikingly, they also directed Catholics institutions to avoid issuing invitations or awarding honors to the any officeholder who publicly supports abortion.

Needless to say, the liberals are outraged, frothing and fulminating about separation of church and state. George Marlin points out that to the degree that they do so, they are hypocrites. They have publicly applauded papal and episcopal efforts in support of liberal causes in the past. Whether it has been liberal statements on the economy and war to opposition to the manner in which the death penalty is imposed, they have supported political speech by bishops. And liberals supported Archbishop Joseph F. Rummel back in 1962 when he excommunicated several public officials who were obstructing integration of Catholic schools and using their power to obstruct the exercise of civil right by African Americans. Such support was proper in every case. They should have the integrity to do so now.

Not that this course of action should be undertaken lightly. Denying communion is a serious step, as is the more grave step of formally excommunicating individuals. And there is the potential for backlash, as Cardinal Theodore McCarrick points out. In the short term, Catholics could find themselves treated with suspicion when they run for office, as was the case when another Massachusetts Senator with the initials JFK ran for president in 1960.

But in the end, the Catholic Church should remain faithful to its message and its teachings. And true American patriots should steadfastly support its right to do so.

|| Greg, 11:04 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 23, 2004

Gee, but the ADL is silent about this.

In a Dirksen Senate Office Building Ceremony, surrounded by members of both the House of Representatives and US Senate, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon received a crown, declared himself to be "Humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent." How this happened is shrouded in mystery, since no one can determine what US Senator authorized the holding of the ceremony in the building.
Moon has claimed to have spoken in "the spirit world" with all deceased U.S. presidents, Jesus, Moses, Mohammed and others. At the March 23 event, he said: "The founders of five great religions and many other leaders in the spirit world, including even Communist leaders such as Marx and Lenin . . . and dictators such as Hitler and Stalin, have found strength in my teachings, mended their ways and been reborn as new persons."

Yeah. Right. Uh-huh.

|| Greg, 11:55 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

ADL To Texas GOP: Censor Nation's Christian Heritage!

Let's be honest about it. America was settled by Christians from its earliest days. All sorts of Christians to be sure, but Christians. Making such a statement does not denigrate the handful of Jews or practitioners of other religions who were present at the creation of the United States, but the foundation of America was a Christian event.

To that end, the Republican Party of Texas includes a plank acknowledging that America was founded as, and remains, a Christian nation. And the Anti-Defamation League has a problem with that. They label the recognition of the reality that America remains over 85% Christian as divisive.

What the ADL does not recognize is that the divisiveness comes not from the majority celebrating its heritage, but from the minority attempting to suppress such celebration. The very fact that this is a Christian nation is fundamental to the welcome and protection religious minorities have found here. Rather than enforce conformity of religion, we grant every believer the dignity of being permitted to follow their own free will in areas of religion.

Speaking as a Texas Republican, I would like to suggest that any ADL member uncomfortable with the Christian nation plank consider a move to Israel, where there is a perfectly good Jewish state for them. And when they get there, let them remember that it is only the good-will of the "intolerant" Christian United States that allows Israel to survive and thrive in the face of a sea of hostile Muslim neighbors.

|| Greg, 11:36 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Will the Supreme Court Vanish?

If current trends in nominations and confirmation battles continue, the US Supreme Court could disappear before too long. Stuart Taylor, Jr. proposes a scenario under which it could happen, destroying both a check on the elected branches of government and the moral authority of the federal courts.

Taylor rightly points out that the focus on ideology in judicial nominees over the last two decades, combined with the trend towards filibustering nominees declared "outside the mainstream" by politicians who are themselves on the fringes of American public opinion could reduce the court to as few as four justices by the next presidential election. While one might hope for greater wisdom on the part of our elected leaders, consider how few people have ever gone broke underestimating politicians.

|| Greg, 11:33 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 22, 2004

Outrage as molester keeps his council seat!

Claudio "Clyde" Ochoa is a child abusing pervert who took two girls off campus from Galena Park High School for sex while working as a substitute teacher. He is also a city councilman in Jacinto City. Unfortunately, that will not change following his plea bargain on charges related to his sexual assault of these two girls.

In exchange for a guilty plea on a misdemeanor charge of "enticing a child," Ochoa will do 45 days in the county lockup instead of doing 20 years in a state prison and paying a $10,000 fine. Ochoa will also be allowed to keep his council seat, since state law does not consider misdemeanor to be of sufficient gravity to require resignation.

Now let's look at this. I'm a teacher in the same district (though not the same school). If I had contact even remotely resembling this with a student, I would certainly be doing hard time. No way would I be allowed to plead out to a piddly misdemeanor. Something stinks in this case. Who made the decision to let this molester slide? Why did the judge accept such an inappropriate deal? We need to know, and we need to find a way to stop such miscarriages of justice from being permitted in the future.

|| Greg, 11:45 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Millionaire father of billionaire pleads -- tax away our money!

William Gates, Sr., father of Microsoft mogul and leading candidate for Anti- Christ Bill Gates, had a little piece in the Chronicle calling for more social programs and increased estate taxes. It is part of his never-ending crusade to tax money that has already been taxed multiple times just because it is there and available to tax. He goes on at length about the need for the richest Americans to "give back" a part of their wealth to the country that made such wealth possible.

What a rich socialist like Gates is unable to grasp is that such folks have already given back. Wages were taxed as income. Every capital gain was taxed. Real property was taxed continuously. And that doesn't even begin to consider the "giving back" that resulted from their investments in enterprises that provided employment, goods, and services, or their charitable and philanthropic contributions and activities. Sorry, old man, but all that is giving back.

But I'll tell you what -- it seems fair to say that you feel you have not given enough of your wealth to the government. Fine. Write a check to the treasury for as much more as you feel you need to give. Better yet, leave all of your fortune to the government as the ultimate sign of your belief that wealth should not be passed from generation to generation.

But keep your hands off of what the rest of the American people have.

|| Greg, 11:30 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 21, 2004

From the depths of my heart, with love.

My grandmother, Mary Travelstead, passed away this morning after a short illness following a stroke. She was 92. She was on her own until a month ago, but the body just gave out.

Grandma always said she would make a terrible invalid, and that she didn't want to linger on if her mind went. She didn't, and I take comfort in that.

If I exclude faith and love (both of which she had in abundance), I would say that her great legacy to the family is education. Born in an age when few went to college, she managed to find scholarships to send all four of her children off to college at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, even though their father never saw the worth of a college education to a small town kid. While Aunt Audrey came back without a degree to marry her boyfriend, the other three made the most of their educations. Uncle Stan was the librarian at Marion High School in Marion, Illinois for many years. Aunt Wilma taught school and eventually became a principal in Lincoln, Nebraska. My dad, Roger, served 27 years as an officer in the US Navy before turning his sights to education as a college professor and a Job Corps administrator. None of the three holds less than a Master's Degree, and there is at least one Ph.D. among them. She eventually went to college herself, and earned an Associate's Degree in Mental Health in her 60s. As I look at those of us who are blessed to have been her grandchildren, I can't help but notice that having only a BA makes you average, and having less a slacker. Quite a legacy she left us there.

There has been quite a distance between us since my wife and I moved to Houston. Making it back to Illinois for a visit hasn't been an option for several years, but we talked nearly every week. I'll miss that. But let me end with the words that concluded so many phone calls the last few years.

I love you, Grandma. I'll come home to you when I can.

|| Greg, 11:35 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Diocese to file Chapter 11?

Settlements and judgements related to sexual abuse cases may force the Diocese of Tucson to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to Bishop Gerald Kicanas. In order to make adequate provisions for pastoral work and settlements (both current and future), the diocese will be forced to take action in the face of high settlement demands from plaintiff's lawyers.

This raises a number of questions, but the biggest is this -- how can a court appointed trustee administer the operation of a Catholic diocese? Does this create a church/state separation problem, especially if the trustee/administrator and the bishop disagree on priorities and what is needed to provide for the mission of the Church? This could be quite interesting.

On a personal note, the Diocese of Tucson and its bishop are certainly in my prayers. I first met Bishop Kicanas 15 years ago when he was rector of my seminary. I have taken classes from him, eaten meals with him, and spilled my guts out to him. Rarely have I met a man of greater decency and personal holiness. Hang in there, Jerry.

|| Greg, 11:22 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Pro-choice = no choice for Dem politician

Apparently the only acceptable choice on abortion is abortion, according to Florida Democrats. At least that is what Democrat candidate for property appraiser Joy Hearn has been told. Certain leaders of her local party have advised her that it is unacceptable for her to have "Choose Life" license plates on her car. While a strong liberal on most issues, Hearn is a faithful Catholic and accepts Church teachings on the sanctity of life.

But that isn't good enough for the Democrats -- there is no choice on pro-choice for her, despite the fact that the office she seeks has nothing to do with the abortion issue in any way, shape, or form.

|| Greg, 11:16 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

You have no right to remain silent...

In a decision stunningly at odds with the clear wording of the Fifth Amendment, the Supreme Court has ruled 5-4 that you do not have the right to remain silent when a police officer asks you to identify yourself -- and that the state may make it a crime to attempt to assert your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent or Fourth Amendment right to privacy in the face of such questioning.

While the majority in this case argued that a name is unlikely to be incriminating, they overlooked the point made by Justice John Paul Stevens that, given today's information technology, simply having an individuals name can unlock the door to a host of records, files, and bits of confidential information.

|| Greg, 11:08 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

IMPEACH THIS JUDGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In a stunning act of arrogance, a federal judge has indicated he believes the George W. Bush is acting like Mussolini and Hitler!

Speaking before the ultra-liberal American Constitution society, Judge Guido Calabresi argued that the President was illegitimately placed in power by the Supreme Court, and then compared the means used to the methods used to get the two dictators into power. Furthermore, he argues that Bush is exercising "extorting power" in his conduct of the War on Terrorism -- and that he has no right to exercise any but the most basic functions of his office. Calabresi also declared that members of the public should expel Mr. Bush from office in order to cleanse the democratic system.

In doing this, the Judge indicates that he does not accept the decision of the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore, and has demonstrated contempt for the President. It calls question his willingness to conform to decisions of the Supreme Court, and his impartiality in cases involving the Bush Administration. And the partisan nature of his call to overthrow the government during time of war borders on treason.

This is not the first time the Judge has overstepped his bounds. In a 2000 case, this partisan Democrat attacked then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani during his Senatorial campaign.

This guy has gotta go!

|| Greg, 10:52 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 20, 2004

Soviet-Style Mental Health Care for Conservatives

Al Gore can rant like a madman. Howard Dean can let rip with inarticulate roars. Bill Clinton can confess to sociopathic behaviors cause by his dysfunctional youth. But if you are a conservative, watch out!

Ask Wilson "Will" Taylor about what happens if you are a passionate Republican. Based only on the word of a causal acquaintance who had overheard his rant on the effects of high taxes on the elderly, Taylor was barred from entering city hall to speak to the mayor (whatever happened to the right to petition for the redress of grievances?) and involuntarily committed on an emergency basis "as a danger to himself and others" to a mental hospital for 13 days. Based on his politics and his passionate language, Dr. Mallikarajun Patta (lift his license quick) declared him "delusional, psychotic and perhaps bipolar", and suggested that he be committed to a state mental hospital for an indefinite term.

Only the intervention of Judge William Whitman has freed the Republican candidate for St. Joseph County Councilman from the threat of political reeducation through psychiatrists medication. And we thought this couldn't happen in America?

UPDATE: Part 2 -- It gets uglier, as false accusations, cops at the door and a lying doctor are used to get Taylor taken into custody, committed, and medicated under false pretenses.

UPDATE: Part 3 -- Hearing witnesses appear to contradict themselves on Taylor's dangerousness, need for involuntary commitment.

UPDATE: Part 4 -- Taylor is found not to be a threat to self or others, and probably never was. But the law may leave him no recourse.

|| Greg, 01:54 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

ACLU: We Can't Let This Religious Freedom Thing Take Hold

Proving that it is the biggest protector of only SOME constitutional rights and liberties, the ACLU has come out against the Workplace Religious Freedom Act, which would require that employers make reasonable accommodations of employee religious beliefs and practices. The measure is sponsored by Senators Rick Santorum (R-PA) and (giving credit where credit is due). . . John Kerry (D-MA).

This bill would strengthen protections previously enacted by defining "undue hardship" as meaning "any inconvenience to the employer. The new standard would require that the hardship impose a significant financial or logistical burden on the employer. The bill would guarantee the right to wear a yarmulke or crucifix, take off religious holidays, or engage in religious practices that do not disrupt the workplace (i.e. Bible reading during breaks, posting religious pictures and sentiments in one's work space).

The ACLU opposes the measure because it fears folks could "refuse to work with people of the opposite gender or with gays or lesbians, or that they could use the law to justify proselytizing or displaying a swastika." Aside from the fact that these matters are already dealt with elsewhere in federal law, all of these would impose a substantial economic or logistical burden on the employer that would allow for prohibition.

Face it -- the ACLU won't steadfastly protect your religious freedom unless you are an atheist, a witch, or an Islamist terrorist.

|| Greg, 11:50 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Windmill Tilting, Part Two

Libertarian Presidential candidate Michael Badnarik aims to cost Bush the election.

Well, if the Democrats think they can Kerry Texas, why not this scenario? Vin Suprynowicz argues (correctly, I think)that Badnarik should be given a shot in the national debates due to the number of state where he will appear on the ballot. That standard would allow both Badnarik and Nader to overcome the hump of "popularity" (so difficult to quantify) by meeting the objective standard of "on enough state ballots to potentially win". I think he is right.

Vin then goes on to start chronicling the Badnarik quest for the Libertarian Party nomination -- on $33,000. He says he'll finish the yarn next week. I look forward to it.

|| Greg, 11:36 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Windmill Tilting, Part One

Texas Democrat Party convention ends

Amidst partisan accusations against Texas Republicans, opposition to both open government and majority rule, the silencing of a member of the legislature who acts in a bipartisan fashion, and the creation of a think tank to "develop issues" for the Party, Texas Democrats adopted a platform that is woefully out of step with the majority of Texans and then went home. What is more, folks repeatedly expressed the delusional notion that Texas is "in-play" during the 2004 election, and that John Kerry could win the state from Bush.

After several days of maneuvering to silence Senator Sylvester Turner, who stayed in Austin to do the people's business when the rest of the Democrat caucus fled the state to avoid arrest, the party came up with a pathetic solution -- schedule his speech at a new time after weeks of having told him otherwise. Turner, who had committed to deliver a funeral eulogy at that time, was denied his requested rescheduling and boycotted the end of the convention.

And in a move that smacked of liberal arrogance,

Committee members narrowly rejected a proposal to require that all legislative votes be recorded, and several members said they feared they were ceding the high ground to Republicans, who approved such a measure at their convention earlier this month.

Committee co-chairs state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio and Rep. Garnet Coleman of Houston argued that abolishing voice votes in favor of recorded votes would make it more difficult for legislators of both parties to pass needed but unpopular legislation.

Once again showing that liberals don't trust the people to know what is good for them.

|| Greg, 11:01 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 19, 2004

Liberal SOP -- Looks like fraud to me.

Seems like the friendly folks at AirAmerica, the latest leftist attempt to crash the talk radio market, are going to stiff the creditors!

Reports indicate that the company will sell all assets to a newly created company and leave all debts to with the old, which will then fold. This sweetheart deal, which involves allowing most of the original investors (except frontmen Evan Cohen and Rex Sorensen) to retain their investment while leaving those who did business with the 15 station network high and dry.

Since there will be no audits conducted to see that assets are fairly valued, no auction to get a market price, and not court oversight by a bankruptcy judge, I wonder who is keeping an eye on this sweetheart sale of assets between corporations owned by the same individuals. Where is the SEC and the attorneys general of the appropriate states? This appears to be nothing less than bankruptcy fraud mapped out in advance.

|| Greg, 10:39 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Penn State decides "No more Christians here!"

In a troubling move that strikes at the very heart of free exercise of religion on the campus of a public university, Penn State University has decided to refuse recognition to DiscipleMakers, an evangelical Christian group. Why? Because a university administrator has decided that there are enough Christian groups to meet the spiritual needs of university students! The organization is being represented in a lawsuit by the Alliance Defense Fund.

How does this differ from the Catholic University case I commented on below? Why do I support the DiscipleMakers but not the NAACP? After all, the uniqueness requirement is one of the two reasons given by CU for denying recognition to the NAACP. The answer is simple -- it is the difference between public and private.

Catholic University is a private school, and as such is not bound by the requirements of the First Amendment. If a decision were taken to ban all non-Catholic religious groups as inconsistent with the schools mission, it could do so. In the case of the NAACP, it objects to the parent organizations activity in support of abortion, activity which conflicts with the teachings of the Catholic Church. That alone is sufficient reason for denying recognition, and is a standard applied to all organizations.

Penn State, on the other hand, is bound by the First Amendment because it is a state school. It is not the place of the university to be denying religious groups recognition because they are not sufficiently unique (nor, I daresay, should it do so with political groups). In addition, Penn State creates a special hoop for religious groups to jump through, because the consent of the director of the Center for Ethics and Religious Affairs is required above and beyond what non religious groups must do for recognition. As such, there is clear discrimination. And as for the uniqueness requirement, what next? Will the university decide that there need be only one group for liturgical Christians, be they Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, or Orthodox?

|| Greg, 10:13 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 18, 2004

Congratulations to the Fincke Family!

Best wishes to new parents Mike and Renita Fincke and new brother Chandra Fincke on the birth of little Tarali Paulina Fincke!

She arrived today at a local hospital while the proud pappa listened from his perch aboard the International Space Station.

NASA officials said it was the first time to their knowledge that a U.S. astronaut was in space during the birth of his child. NASA also arranged two video conferences so that he could see mother and child, and videos and pictures will be sent to him aboard the space station.

We folks who live near NASA view every crewmember as a part of the extended family, for we see them in the grocery store, at church, and in lot's of everyday settings -- it's nice to have some good news to report after the events of February 1, 2003.

|| Greg, 10:58 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Not free to disagree, part 2

Apparently our degenerate Democrat buddy, John Aravosis (try this address if you don't get a response to the one I linked earlier), doesn't want to limit his personal attacks on conservative gays and lesbians to members of the Bush and Cheney families. No, he wants to go after any gay member of Congress who supports the Federal Marriage Amendment, their gay staff members, and their gay associates/contributors. So does activist Mike Rogers, who views the right to privacy that he demands for homosexuals to be contingent upon their supporting the politically correct position on gay marriage.

Again, we see the hypocrisy of the Left. Rights, if you are a leftist, are contingent upon espousing the proper politics and causes. On the other hand, conservatives (or at least most of us) are content to respect privacy and struggles of gay and lesbian friends and family members provided they are equally willing to respect our beliefs about moral and legal questions surrounding homosexual conduct. But somehow WE are the intolerant ones.

|| Greg, 09:33 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Not free to disagree, part 1

Leftist low-life John Aravosis (go ahead and email the scumbag) has decided that there is only one acceptable position for a homosexual to have on both gay marriage and the reelection of the Bush/Cheney ticket. Even if your father is on the ticket.

The result is a series of internet ads attacking Mary Cheney for working for the campaign and attempting to "compel" her to speak out against the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Now I can understand Aravosis disagreeing with the campaign, but I find his attack on Mary Cheney repulsive. After all, haven't we repeatedly been told that homosexuals are "just like everyone else"? Doesn't this include disagreeing on policy issues? Or are homosexuals supposed to live in fear that their failure to act in lockstep with the "gay agenda" will result in a public shaming as disgusting as the use of the term "Uncle Tom for conservative blacks? In short, are we, as Americans, going to stand by and permit the leftists to infringe upon the human right of Mary Cheney and other conservative homosexuals to think for themselves?

|| Greg, 09:17 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 17, 2004

NAACP Head: Freedom For Me, But Not For Thee.

The NAACP often bills itself as the nation's premiere civil rights organization. It certainly places itself in the forefront of the movement to protect the rights of Americans. Apparently, though, that is only the case if you are liberal, pro-abortion, and black.

Consider the case of Catholic University, the officially sanctioned school of the Catholic Church in the United States. A group of students petitioned CU for recognition of a campus chapter of the NAACP, as required by campus policy. After careful consideration, the University rejected the application on the grounds that another organization existed on the campus that focused on civil rights and African American heritage, and the fact that the NAACP is an active and vocal organization in support of abortion. It was the latter that became the sticking point for the school. And as a private Catholic university, that should be the end of matters.

Enter NAACP president Crazy N'Fuming. Not satisfied that the Catholic University of the United States has a right to be Catholic and insist that student groups do the same, he demanded a meeting with the university. Now he is threatening lawsuits and public protests -- all because a Catholic school is acting the way a Catholic school is supposed to act.

Apparently my mom's sarcastic comment was right all those years ago when I complained that her grounding me was a violation of my civil rights. You have no civil rights if you aren't black. That certainly seems to be the position of the NAACP.

|| Greg, 11:03 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Bill Clinton -- The First Sociopath President

“I did something for the worst possible reason — just because I could,” he said of his romps with Lewinsky. “I think that’s just about the most morally indefensible reason anybody could have for doing something — when you do it because you could," a contrite Clinton told CBS newsman Dan Rather in an interview about his hotly anticipated memoir that airs Sunday on "60 Minutes."

And you liberals thought we conservatives were out of line for calling him unfit to be President of the United States. Doing something wrong just because you can is the hallmark of a sociopath.

|| Greg, 06:15 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

But They Just Have Different Learning Styles!

I can already hear some of my colleagues, folks who gush on about learning styles and the need to help every student learn "their own way" expressing horror over this story from Georgia. Not over the dead chickens -- over the criminalization of the learning process. After all -- wasn't this just another tactile-kinesthetic learning opportunity?

|| Greg, 05:59 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Little Reality Check for the Reagan Haters

Now I know that the "Reagan was a Racist" crowd will complain, but I encourage folks to look at Larry Elder's column on Reagan and blacks. In it he does something anathema to liberals -- he offers evidence and statistics.

Consider the results of his policies in the black community:

From the end of 1982 to 1989, black unemployment dropped 9 percentage points (from 20.4 percent to 11.4 percent), while white unemployment dropped by only 4 percentage points. Black household income went up 84 percent from 1980 to 1990, vs. a white household income increase of 68 percent. The number of black-owned businesses increased from 308,000 in 1982 to 424,000 in 1987, a 38 percent rise vs. a 14 percent increase in the total number of firms in the United States. Receipts by black-owned firms more than doubled, from $9.6 billion to $19.8 billion.

Couldn't the black community use a little more of that sort of racist abuse?

|| Greg, 05:57 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 16, 2004

Next Up -- Who is Buried in Grant's Tomb?

One would naturally assume that St. Mark is buried int he Tomb of St. Mark. Guess what -- a new book claims it is really Alexander the Great, who died some 300-400 years earlier!

How did this happen? Author Andrew Chugg has a theory:

Mr Chugg, the author of several books on Alexander, believes the confusion occurred when the warrior's body was disguised as St Mark to protect it from destruction during a Christian uprising.

"Both bodies were said to be mummified in linen, and one seems to disappear at the same time that the other appears - in almost exactly the same place, near the central crossroads of Alexandria," he writes. "It's a strong possibility that somebody in the Church hierarchy, perhaps even the Patriarch himself, decided it might be a good plan to pretend the remains of Alexander were those of St Mark.

"If this is true, then it was Alexander's remains - not those of St Mark - that were stolen by Venetian merchants and taken back to their native city some four centuries later." In fact, three early Christian sources state that St Mark's body was burnt after his death.

If true, it would be one of the great archaeological finds in recent memory.

|| Greg, 10:02 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (28) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

From the Department. of Lousy Excuses

New Zealand -- A man caught driving at more than 120kmh (75 mph) in a 50kmh (31 mph) zone claimed he was trying to blow-dry his car, Whangarei District Court was told.

We've all come up with pathetic excuses for a cop -- but do they all sound this stupid?

|| Greg, 09:49 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Inappropriate Words and Conduct

We teachers do not tolerate some things. In this day of litigation over sexual harassment among students, we crack down on such conduct. We crack down (to varying degrees -- school isn't curse free by any means) on inappropriate language. But we recognize kids will be kids.

But TEACHERS??????????

Now I know that teachers are not angels. We've had kids catch on to "adult" relationships between teachers. I know one administrator who got locked into a closet with a married teacher (they are married now, working in different schools) and another who was caught with a secretary in his office by a janitor one night (neither employed by the district any longer). But with the exception of one married couple who walks down the hall holding hands, teachers at my school restrain themselves. Hey, when my wife used to substitute in my building, she used her maiden name -- until 8 months into the school year a kid noticed the woman across the hall looked an awful lot like the one in the wedding picture on my desk.

Looks like New Dorp High in New York has a pair of real peaches. The verbally abuse kids. They cuss in class. The grope in the hallway and make out in their classrooms. And then they tried to obstruct the investigation. Come on! I thought that we were all adults, and that we knew there are some basic rules of civil conduct you don't violate. Apparently these clowns don't -- or at least didn't.

The good news? Tenure not withstanding, they are recommended for termination. But they claim they are being framed, so will be mounting a vigorous defense. So it may only take a year or two to get rid of them. Good riddance!

|| Greg, 06:42 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 15, 2004

Hmmmmm! Maybe the Democrats could try this next.

Well, the friendly folks at found an intriguing one for us. Seems that the Brazilians have found a new twist old quid-pro-quo method of buying votes. Politicians are providing mobile sterilization clinics. Women promise their vote in exchange for getting their tubes tied.

After decades of vote fraud, illegal registrations, votes for cash/booze/cigarettes among the homeless, and registered dead folks, maybe the pro-abortion Dems will go this direction. I can see it now -- D&#X courtesy of the DNC.

|| Greg, 07:53 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 11, 2004

A tribute to a friend

Another great American died this week, another son of Illinois returned home to his God. And while his death stirred much less notice, I would like to note the passing of Father Edwin H. Hustedde. Father Ed was noted for so many things in his life, whether it was his role as an innovative educator in southern Illinois during his time as founding principal of Gibault Catholic High School, his pastoral work in the Diocese of Belleville, or his reputation as "the Pitching Priest" for the Waterloo Buds baseball team.

I leave you with my thoughts from the online memorial book.

May God richly reward Father Ed as he enters the Kingdom of Heaven.

It was my experience that Father Ed was a deeply spiritual man, one who found his calling to serve God through the work of educating the children who passed the doors of Gibault. That institution will stand as a living memorial to his vision and devotion to that vocation. His example is one that inspires me to this day in my own teaching career.

To the Hustedde family and the Gibault community, as well as the many people touched through his parish ministry, I offer my deepest sympathy and my prayers for you in this time of loss.

|| Greg, 10:28 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Farewell, Mr. President

Ronald Reagan, fourtieth president of the United States, was laid to rest this evening. A man who defined an era and reshaped the American body-politic, his place in history is assured, even as we Americans resume the debate over how he should be remembered.

Tonight's service focused on Reagan as a man of faith, as every funeral should. The words that are most striking to me are those of his son and namesake, Ron Reagan.

Dad was also a deeply, unabashedly religious man. But he never made the fatal mistake of so many politicians wearing his faith on his sleeve to gain political advantage. True, after he was shot and nearly killed early in his presidency, he came to believe that God had spared him in order that he might do good. But he accepted that as a responsibility, not a mandate. And there is a profound difference.

Let it be sufficient to say that the son caught the essence of what was right about the role of faith in his father's political life, and what is wrong with all too many others, both conservative and liberal.

Most touching for me was Nancy Reagan's sob as she said her final goodbye. This expression of grief could not help but touch anyone who loved her husband. Even my darling wife, The Loyal Opposition, was moved to tears. Nancy has shown America a model of grace and dignity -- and of love and devotion.

|| Greg, 10:13 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Hey KPMG! Look at me!

I hear you guys don't like unauthorized links because they violate your company policy.

Guess what -- I don't work for your stinking company. And I am unaware of anything in my terms of service that would be violated by a simple link.

So here goes.

|| Greg, 07:55 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Every adoptive parents nightmare!

Better hope your adoptive child looks sufficiently like you if he or she decides to act up. Parents of a two-year-old found that out recently while flying out of Erie, PA.

According to airport authorities,

"The baby was screaming, 'Mommy, Mommy, Mommy,' and fussing, trying to get out of the hands of the woman holding her," he said. "I'm sorry they had to miss the flight, but I don't care if the baby was white, pink, blue or whatever color. Two people in particular voiced concern that the baby might not belong to them, and we had to check it out."

Really? You've never seen the "terrible twos" on an airplane before? You routinely demand that the parents of small children deplane so that you can check if the kid is "really theirs" if the kid is misbehaving? Exactly how many such cases have there been recently -- say in the last three years?

|| Greg, 07:48 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 10, 2004

After sodomy as a civil right and gay marriage by judicial fiat

why not this?

So, half the cops in a Utah town are Mormon Fundamentalists who practice polygamy. I'd be upset if the extension of a right to sexual privacy in Lawrence v. Texas didn't seem to give these folks the right to sleep with whoever they want. Similarly, the Goodridge decision in Massachusetts, if its logic is extended nationwide, would seem to preclude limiting marriage to only two people.

Calling all liberals -- what do you think? Is this what you had in mind?

|| Greg, 04:47 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

But what will Barry Lynn say?

Liberal religious groups are acting to get organized politically. Cut out of the political left after the Left went secular, liberal religious leaders want back in the game -- especially liberal Christians. They don't want their conservative brothers and sisters to be seen as the only game in town for Christians in politics.

One problem, though. How will they square their policies with the Bible, which is the guidebook for Christians? Or is one of those strictly optional?

|| Greg, 04:43 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Gee, I could have told you that!

But what do I know? I’m just a teacher.

It seems that a company that specializes in educational testing and materials doesn’t think much of the new TAKS test. They say it is little more than a minimal skills test, and not a workforce readiness test. It doesn’t show if students are ready for college, they complain.

Well, DUH!

It is a test designed to show that students meet the MINIMUM standards to graduate. Never has it been billed as anything else. It is the TASP that serves as a college readiness test.

I am especially fond of the quote from the Texas Education Agency spokeswoman:

"They're trying to make these tests do more than they were ever intended to do," said TEA spokeswoman Debbie Graves Ratcliffe. "They weren't intended to determine whether a student was ready for the job market or college. We're trying to determine whether they've mastered mid-high school level achievement. The test does what it's supposed to do, it just doesn't do what they want it to do."

As a teacher, I’ve got lots of criticism of the TAKS test, but I think this one is dead wrong. The test is given in eleventh grade, and so why would anyone expect it to cover twelfth grade material? It covers minimum graduation standards, so why would it include material from advanced electives? This study proves what I have always believed – Those who can, teach. Those who can’t become consultants.

|| Greg, 04:38 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Reagan bashing for experts

Ted Rall certainly went a bit “beyond the pale” in his comments on President Reagan. Mind you, I don’t think the man is above criticism. And as a student and teacher of history, I know that the historical record is always fit fodder for discussion. But sometimes you just need to stop and not speak. There will be time enough for the harsh words later.

The sad part is that Rall gets so much wrong in his rant. While some students felt that they were not threatened, others believed that they were. The fact that all those Cuban construction workers were armed with AK-47s certainly makes a case that the airport there was military in nature. And we won’t get into the fact that Grenadians still support Reagan, two decades after his intervention following a bloody coup on their country.

Reagan was responsible for Osama? Continuing a policy begun under Carter, we aided those who opposed the illegal Russian invasion of the sovereign nation of Afghanistan. I guess the continued oppression of a nation by communists didn’t matter much to Mr. Rall. And if we want to get down to brass tacks, I could point out which American president refused to accept offers from other nations to turn bin Laden over to the US following terrorist attacks during the 1990s.

Ted – I think it is more likely that you will be basted and browned over a brimstone-fueled fire.

|| Greg, 04:34 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Reagan bashing for beginners

Well, we knew it wouldn’t last forever. They just couldn’t allow for a period of mourning and a decent burial with honors. Liberals have decided to abuse the corpse of a dead president before it ever makes it into the ground.

One of the more feeble attempts is that of Boston Globe columnist Derrick Jackson, who gladly accepts the view of Archbishop Desmond Tutu that any policy but sanctions against the apartheid government of South Africa constituted collaboration with that policy and was therefore “immoral, evil, and totally un-Christian.” Unfortunately for Jackson, his argument only shows the folly of his position.

Jackson huffs that

“(o)nly a year after Reagan left office, Mandela was released. One can only wonder how much sooner he would have been released and how many lives would have been saved had Reagan not behaved like the white chief of old.”

On the other hand, one could just as easily argue that one could wonder how much longer Mandela would have been imprisoned, and how many more black South Africans would have been died at the hands of that corrupt regime had Reagan adopted the hard-line policy of sanctions demanded by liberals. Much as is found today in Cuba and North Korea, such sanctions could have worsened the situation and caused the government to become that much more oppressive.

And as I recall, we have spent the last dozen years hearing about sanctions against the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein being the source of untold suffering and death among the common people of that nation, especially the children. I cannot help but believe that had Ronald Reagan agreed to those sanctions, we would be hearing the complaint that Reagan was willing to starve black children to death while white South Africans were well fed.

Please note – I do NOT think any president is above criticism, even those who have headed to whatever eternal realm their deeds have deserved. It’s just that common decency cries out for a time of silence to honor the man, the office, and the country – and to allow the family a time to heal. Would a week have been too much to ask?

|| Greg, 04:17 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 09, 2004

Come Let Us Sit Upon The Ground. . .

and tell sad stories of the deaths of presidents.

Sorry, Will, but the paraphrase seems fitting. I think that your plays are all in the public domain, in any event.

Ronald Reagan lies in the Capitol Rotunda this night, honored by the citizens of a nation which owes him much. I have spent much time thinking of what to say this night, and still can find no words better than those I placed in the remembrance book at the Reagan Library site on Saturday night.

My prayers and deepest sympathy are with you and the family at this time.

I first heard the name Ronald Reagan as a child living in California. I was only three years old when he was elected governor, but my parents taught me early that he was a good man, and one to be admired. I followed his career from then on.

As an adolescent I listened to Ronald Reagan on the radio. What he said made sense, and he was a major influence in the formation of my world-view. As he challenged for the presidential nomination in 1976, I hoped that he would be the one to make us proud of America again. My heart broke when he conceded.

Four years later I sat late into the night, waiting for him to appear and announce his vice- presidential candidate. I was 17, and excited by his words and vision. I had never worked on a campaign before, but I did then. I am one of that generation he inspired with his conservative vision and principles.

In 1984 I cast my first presidential vote for Ronald Reagan. He remains the standard by which I judge any candidate for office.

Tonight I weep. I weep because of the loss of a man who holds a unique place in my heart and life. I weep from gladness, that the suffering is over. And I weep for joy that Ronald Reagan is today with his God in Heaven.

Rest well, good and faithful servant.

|| Greg, 08:41 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 08, 2004


This will be my first post here from Precinct 333, a congenial spot here in a congenial corner of Southeast Texas, not too far from Houston. I'm your friendly neighborhood Precinct Chair. I plan on devoting this site to my passions -- history, politics, education, religion, and, of course, my darling wife (AKA The Loyal Opposition). So come on in, take a seat, pour the beverage of your choice and see what develops!

UPDATE -- This was the first post for the old blog, Precinct 333. My introductory post to Rhymes With Right, dated April 18, 2005, can be found here.

|| Greg, 07:32 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

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About Me

NAME: Greg
AGE: 50-ish
SEX: Male
OCCUPATION: Social Studies Teacher
LOCATION: Seabrook, TX
DISCLAIMER: All posts reflect my views alone, and not the view of my wife, my dogs, my employer, or anyone else. All comments reflect the view of the commenter, and permitting a comment to remain on this site in no way indicates my support for the ideas expressed in the comment.

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A BAD problem
School backs down in the face of backlash
Buckley steps down!
Giving Miss Essie her due.
A writer who doesn't insult your intelligence.
Cuba a beacon of democracy for the oppressive US?
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America loses a great public servant
Some things just need saying.


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