"Making Rabbits Blush?"

A population-control zealot unloads on the Duggars. Maria Fotopoulos even criticizes them for taking advantage of medical services that improve the quality of life and nastily wishes "early menopause" upon Michelle.

Margaret Sanger's & Maria Fotopoulos' worst nightmare

Amy Chua v. Amy Cross

Tiger Mother Amy Chua's controversial parenting style is rightfully described by David Brooks as "elite" and "upper-middle class." Hey, he should know. He writes for the New York Times. One of the products of all this 'intense' mothering - 18-year-old Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld (Amy's eldest) - wrote an essay defending her militant mom. Sophia actually sounds pretty mainstream liberal - like one of those high SAT overachievers that a college town, like Amherst, Massachusetts, regularly produces.

Now contrast all that to Amy Cross's parenting. Here's the result.

Mrs. Cross is too humble (and too busy with her other children) to mount any soapbox to tell folks why her mothering methods are better than anyone else's.

In the photo: 18-year-old Spencer Cross


They Subsidize Horses, Don't They?

Subtitle: Frederic Bastiat is rolling in his grave.

Below is an interesting video/news story about how the federal Bureau of Land Management gives Oklahoma rancher Ladd Drummond about a million bucks to care for wild horses. Drummond wah-wahs that he only makes a $100,000 'profit' for all his labor. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okie) makes an appearance stating that the size of the herd needs to be reduced and that "we're just throwing money away," but doesn't say anything about why Fedgov is even in the business of subsidizing well-to-do-ranchers. Billionaire Boone Pickens' overly botoxed wife also makes an appearance. It appears that Rancher Drummond lives in Frank Lucas' congressional district. This is the same rep. that the Cato Institute recently referred to as Frank Lucas, R-Farm Subsidies.

Ladd Drummond's wife, meanwhile, has quite the lucrative shtick going, incessantly photographing the horses and blogging about life on a "working" ranch, while having meet and greets with the (unsuspecting) taxpayers who help finance the fabled Drummond ranches.

What a Dallas TV series-like cast.

Take a listen (or a read):


"Poverty of Ethics"

Earlier in the month, I wrote a fairly long article about Morris Dees and the $outhern Poverty Law Center. It is now available in the latest print edition of the New American magazine, as well as online. In the piece: a section about Jared Loughner and Mark Potok, as well as a note about the friendly affiliation that the Dept. of Homeland Security has with the $PLC.

For a dissident view, from a Grove City College professor, on the recent brouhaha involving various conservative family-values groups and the $outhern Poverty Law Center, see Warren Throckmorton's blog entry.


Question Authority

Thanks to John P. for sending this delightful essay by Jeffrey Tucker.

It's Jeff's response to the now infamous 'Tiger Mom' manifesto.

Jeff tsk tsks how Americans casually (and carelessly) let their children 'grow like weeds,' as opposed to carefully cultivating them like hothouse plants.

He writes: "This might be the real reason for the American tendency to approve of things the child is and does. As a culture, we’ve come to trust someone else to take on the essential responsibility of molding the next generation."

And: "As for the Chinese approach, it might reflect a sense that authorities can never be trusted with the essential job of training a child for life."

Never ever!


A Woman of Peace & Her Untimely Death

Writer Mara Gay discusses a possible motive in the murder, in Mexico, of missionary Nancy Davis.

In the photo: The late Mrs. Davis. Such a lovely smile.

A Joyful Survivor

Theologian and ex-surfer Dave Black, who has been candidly blogging about his wife's battle with cancer, shared this insightful pensée about marriage:

"To the young person who may be reading this blog, I say: your mate will not always be that 25-year old you married. She will change, and so will you. But a funny thing happens on the path to seasoned citizenship – you realize that you have the potential to change into someone even better. Along the way you will meet wives and husbands so content in their relationship with God and with each other that they are able to live happily in circumstances as they are."

In the photo: Dave and Becky Black in Ethiopia.

No Discretion in the Public Arena

When an Arkansas supermarket manager, places the 'family shield' over a magazine cover photo of Elton John, 'his husband,' and their baby - and then folds in the face of whiny complaints - America's moral compass has gone AWOL.

Al Mohler, Southern Baptist Convention leader, describes this troubling trend (well, troubling for traditionalists), as "the new cultural mandate of non-discrimination."

There's also TMI - too much information - about private matters.


Union of the Statists

From yesterday's SotU address: "America has fallen to 9th in the proportion of young people with a college degree. And so the question is whether all of us - as citizens, and as parents - are willing to do what's necessary to give every child a chance to succeed."

Lyman rebuttal to the farrago of education cliches by President O.

Update: John Stossel offers the 'libertarian-humanitarian' State of the Union. Go here to hear from the smart people including "Governor Veto."


Tim Hawkins: Snappy, not Snarky

The goofy, but point-on, social commentary of comedian Tim Hawkins is now available at iTunes.

Here's the $0.99 selections.

"Cletus, take the Wheel" (which lightly mocks Carrie Underwood's "Jesus, Take the Wheel") is hilarious. Here's the video. My personal favorites are "A Homeschool Family" and "The Government Can."

The Company Man Bows to His Boss

Credit: Washington Times. Go here to view the enlarged version of the 'toon.

A Sanctuary State No More

The new governor of Maine, who caused a kerfuffle with his remarks about Martin Luther King Day, has declared that the Pine Tree State will no longer be a haven for illegal aliens.

The AP reports: "In one of his first official acts, Gov. Paul LePage is issuing an order allowing officials in state agencies to question people with whom they come into contact about their immigration status, infuriating civil libertarians.

The Republican's executive order today rescinds one that had been issued by his Democratic predecessor, John Baldacci, that barred state officials from asking about immigration status. A LePage spokesman says the governor wants to send the message that with scarce state resources, he's putting Mainers first."

Here's that exec. order.

Trivia: Former governor Baldacci, btw, is a relative of the bestselling author, David Baldacci.

In the photo: Gov. LePage and his family ... cute doggie, splendid scenery.


ProLifeCon: Now!

In honor of today's National March for Life, the Family Research Council is sponsoring this event, from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM.

Go here for the live webcast.

I Call Negligence

Bland and ineffective advice, from this self-appointed guru, about how to 'deal' with school bullies. Little children should never ever have to bear this burden in the name of faux academics and faux socialization. Odd, how she couldn't say one word about the moral, safe, and economic alternative to bullying (homeschooling) especially since her own son was a home scholar.

Still ... it's one thing to dispense free bad advice about bullies, it's another to pass bad laws.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie, recently signed an anti-bullying bill that is being touted as "the toughest of its kind in the nation." Various conservative pro-family organizations and religious leaders campaigned against the bill. Why? The vigilant Brian Camenker, of MassResistance, says the legislation was "written and tirelessly lobbied for by New Jersey Equality, the state's major homosexual group."

Greg Quinlan, of the New Jersey Family Policy Council, released the following statement: "This legislation is very bad. It really is the LGBTIQ* indoctrination and protection act." Quinlan, et. al., was especially concerned about the "Week of Respect" mandate which promotes gay marriage.

Rabbi Yehuda Levin (pictured below), of the Rabinnical Alliance of America, stated that the bill is "a pernicious hijacking of the bullying problem to promote the militant homosexuality agenda and the State-sponsored bullying of defenseless, Bible-adherent school-children."

For shame, Gov. Christie!

*stands for lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/intersexed/questioning


Sun. Inspiration: The Harris Twins, Kirk C.

The age-inappropriate content of MTV's raunchy show "Skins" was recently criticized by the Parents Television Council. (Big Hollywood article about the PTC here.) One female cast member of the show - Sofia Black-D'elia - defended the whole sordid shebang by claiming "it's what teens are doing."

Not so fast, womanchild.

In the upbeat interview above, authors Alex and Brett Harris, chat about the teenage culture of 'low expectations,' as they call it, and their efforts to raise the bar. They are interviewed by former child actor/teen heartthrob Kirk Cameron who is a now father of six children and a born-again Christian. Kirk also runs Camp Firefly. More here.

Follow the $ Update: Several advertisers, including Taco Bill and GM, are fleeing 'Skins.'


Injustice Toward the Working Man

'Mexican trucks' are back in the news, and back on President Obama's docket.

Phyllis Schlafly weighs in and quotes one of the honchoes associated with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association; a fine all-American organization.

She writes: "Mexican trucks have been barred from operating inside the United States since March 2009. They are limited to a border zone where they must then transfer their cargo onto U.S. trucks.

Mexico claims the current ban violates our treaty obligations under NAFTA. That's not true because NAFTA is not a treaty; it was never ratified by two-thirds of Senators as our Constitution requires for a treaty, and is merely a law passed in 1993 by a simple majority vote.

Perhaps the Obama Administration plan to admit Mexican trucks is just a political maneuver. It may be a tactic to reach out to the business community, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and at the same time be a sneaky way to defeat Republican Members of Congress in 2012 by forcing them to vote on the admission of Mexican trucks."

Phyllis is too polite to use the adjective - treasonous - to describe the Chamber of Commerce.

More on this issue from OOIDA.

Sidebar: The cost of diesel fuel continues to be a HUGE concern for independent trucking. I wrote a piece on this very topic in 2008.

My Boyfriend is a Filthy Rich Drug Lord

File under: Creepy-scary. Whacked.

McClathchy reports on a disturbing trend: South American beauty queens and models cavorting with the leaders of Mexican drug gangs.

That choice turned out poorly (as these liaisons always do) for one Juliana Sosa Toro, a stunning Colombian model.

Mooching off the Body Politic

Talk about Freakonomics! The state government of California is nationally-known for squandering its vast resources, and illegal immigration have only made matters worse. Much worse.

Fox News reports that Los Angeles County spent more than $600 million, in 2010, on welfare bennies for the children of the undocumented.

It's so easy to sneak into our nation and then rip off the taxpayers.

But - claro - some precious activistas are more preoccupied with banning the term 'anchor baby' from the public discourse.


Freaky Tats

I was listening to a Michigan state trooper, yesterday, share that inmates are now tattooing the whites of their eyes. Say what?

Sure, enough, he wasn't joshing. Gross.

Christian Bikini Babes in the Age of Snooki

My pieces about the Miss America pageant are here and here.

Now about those black bikinis ...

Some of the commentators, at the religious sites, are wondering how contestants (e.g. Teresa Scanlan), who enthusiastically embrace their conservative Christian upbringing, can also embrace such a public swimwear contest. (Although sashaying around in a bathing suit, high heels, and heavy make-up, in the Miz A, is now described as a 'lifestyle and fitness' competition or a stepping-stone to becoming the next Sarah Palin.)

Go here and here and here for a small sampling of those opinions.

Given what 1 Timothy 2:9 commands of believers and what Proverbs 31:30 says about outward beauty, the modesty conundrum is a legitimate moral one to pose to any comely pageant participant who comes from a religious tradition, where women are called to dress and conduct themselves in manner that, shall we say, isn't distracting the male species, or that screams "I, I, I."

This was an issue - rightfully so - when the beautiful Muslim woman from Michigan - Rima Fakih - won a title and a crown.

Or, when the media exposed the fact that Carrie Prejean, Miss California USA and a student at Christian college, had cosmetic surgery.

For me - as a current events observer - Miss America 2011 was a newsworthy example of today's zeitgeist, in the same way that a particular Super Bowl game or an American Idol segment might be.

However, as someone who also desires a cultural renaissance and less bread-and-circus, the mass media entertainment phenomenon (and I include pageants in that) isn't really my cup-o-latte. It's geared to produce economites, crass consumers, and hedonists-lite.

But before you think I went all fire and brimestone (or satirical) on ya, please note that I while I think 'the way is narrow,' I also wouldn't want to live in a society or a country where such crowd-pleasing private-sector events are banned.

And that's why I believe - strongly - in immigration reform. Because I don't want to see any American cities transformed into Birmingham, England which has become a closed society where women are considered chattel.

For a Free West.

In the photo: The new Miss America 2011 acknowledging her Creator.

Update: The Oklahoman notices the homeschooling connection.

'Nother Update: Miss Idaho, a Mormon, elected to wear a one-piece bathing suit.


The Eggle's Eternal Perspective

A more innocent time for the Eggles. Kris, of course, is the handsome lad in the middle.

Bob and Bonnie Eggle, of Cadillac, Michigan and parents of the late Kris Eggle, sent out their annual e-holiday newsletter last month. They candidly shared the following thoughts with their many supporters and friends: "As we approach the 9th Christmas without Kristopher, memories flood over us when he and Jennifer were little and all the beautiful moments we had together. The loneliness is still with us, and the 'hole in our hearts' will never be filled, but days are easier now. More joy is felt by the three of us as we look forward and upward, knowing that as each day goes by, that brings us one day closer to our reunion with Kris."

If you are unfamiliar with the tragic circumstances surrounding Kris' untimely death at the hand of drug dealer, please go here.

Bob is a former Army Ranger. Bonnie is retired from teaching. Jennifer works for the National Park Service.

Kris in his park ranger uniform

Virginia Champions a Common Identity

A whopping 16 immigration enforcement bills are being proposed in the Virginia General Assembly.

The WaPo reports that the Commonwealth of Virginia "already denies driver's licenses to illegal immigrants and all taxpayer-paid services except those mandated by law, such as public education or emergency medical care."

Now delegates (legislators) want to prevent illegals from enrolling in public universities and track the number of undocumented schoolchildren in government schools.

Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (pictured) is the leader of this pack in that he is the head of the immigration task force and a forceful spokesman for rule of law, private property, and a common identity.


Photo of the Day: Elk Herd in Bozeman, MT

This photo was snapped by Belgrade News reader, Vic Vesely, earlier this month. Stunning! Click on it, if you want to see it in greater detail.

"How Does an Anchor Baby Anchor the Illegal Parent?"

A fairly comprehensive (but easy-to-follow) answer to that query. Go here.


Another Day in Mordor

From the the Washington Examiner:: "The garbage truck driver who struck and killed a bicyclist in Dupont Circle in 2008 has been sentenced to two years and seven months in prison for illegally re-entering the United States after having been deported for an aggravated felony.

Marco Rosendo Flores-Fuentes, 48, was deported to Mexico in 1994 after serving more than two years in prison for a marijuana importation and distribution conviction. He illegally re-entered the United States a few years later, court records say."

What of the hauling company who hired Flores-Fuentes, a man with such a checkered past?

The cyclist was Alice Swanson (pictured), a vivacious 22-year-old who worked at the International Research and Exchange Board, a non-profit organization. Ms. Swanson was also a 2007 grad of Amherst College. She was remembered here and here.


Sun. Inspiration II: Heather Whitestone McCallum

The gracious Heather, Miss America 1995, was the first hearing disabled contestant to win the title. In this interview, she talks about motherhood and her cochlear implants.

Sunday Inspiration: Spencer Cross

Coming later this week, my interview with this mature, impressive 18-year-old.


Miss Oklahoma: Miss America Finalist & Homeschooler Wins Pageant!

News flash: Emoly West, a family friend from the great Sooner State, had a memorable night. She was selected 4th runner up in the the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas!

Congratulations to Emoly, and also congrats to Jack and Stephanie West, who were in the audience (saw ya'll on national teevee!) to cheer on their poised, telegenic daughter.

Pianist Teresa Scanlan, Miss Nebraska, is the 2011 Miss America.

In the photo: Emoly (left) and Teresa.

Update: The new Miss America is only 17 and, like Emoly, also has a faith-based homeschooling background. Teresa plans on attending conservative Patrick Henry College in Virginia.

'Nother Update: The AP notes the new Miss America's answer (which includes a reference to borders) during the Q&A period.

Not Conned by Cons

Via a Fox News article: Several excellent comments by Mike Cutler, about efforts (by the usual suspects) to stop Haitian criminal aliens, from being deported.

Here's one: "If the countries from whence they came are hellish, then there is all the more reason why they should have stayed out of trouble!" Cutler told FoxNews.com.

Here's another: "You got into the life boat and now you're punching holes in the life boat? How much more stupid can you be?" he said. "We're being told about the human rights of the criminals what about the human rights of their victims? In clubs they have bouncers, and if you walk in there and start throwing bottles around they're going to kick you out. Isn't that what America should do?"

Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) and Barbara Gonzalez of ICE were also quoted in support of our immigration laws. Thank you!

One of the 'hole punchers'

Take the Constitution Quiz

See if you score better than your congressional representative did (not hard to do, btw). Go here.


Weasly 'Conservatives'

KOKH FOX 25 :: Top Stories - Doak appointments

Very disappointing that the constitutionalist, Randy Brogdon (who I have defended here), has accepted this well-paying state government position. John Doak (pictured) - Oklahoma's new insurance commissioner who claims to be against ObamaCare - this man is a piece of work.* Click on the link; watch the video; hold them accountable.

*as opposed to 'what a piece of work is man'

More: The Gorilla's growl.

Update: In fairness, The Muskogee Politico allows former state senator Brogdon his say on this matter, and, I will admit, he does a decent job exonerating himself. However, he doesn't explain why he, a believer in small government with solid private sector experience, feels like he has to remain a government employee. Nor does he say why he's working for a department he really has no expertise in.

Caliente? Latino Republicans

This might very well be the Next Big Political Thing. There's been a spate of stories about center-right Hispanics increasing in visibility, as well as efforts, on the part of center-right leaders to reach out to Latinos.

First, political commentator Hastings Wyman notices the "record number of Hispanic Republicans" elected to public office this past November. Go here.

Second, this weekend, Jeb Bush is hosting the first Hispanic Leadership Network conference in Coral Gables, Florida at the fab Biltmore Hotel. Fox News Latino writes about the event.

Third, Israel "Izzy" Ortega is the head of the Heritage Fourndation's Libertad.org, a Spanish-language website that promotes the free market and civil society. Below is the organization's promo video for this endeavor.


Sec. of State Kobach: Is he in Oz or Kansas?

Kris of Kansas says he's going to take on voter fraud.

Meanwhile, Kobach's opponents have been critical of his extracurricular 'pursuits' as a high-profile immigration enforcement attorney (while working as a law professor). One Donkey wants to propose legislation aimed at curtailing "outside employment 'of significance' among people holding top jobs in the executive branch of state government."

The then Sec. of State - Democrat Chris Biggs - signed a smarmy pledge, during the campaign, vowing he would work "full time" in the position.

Kris' retort: "Some people golf in their spare time, I defend American sovereignty."

Second retort: Beating Biggs 59 to 37 percent in the general election.

Sec. Kobach

Of Ice Fishing and Such

While perusing Hooks & Bullets magazine, my husband came across this photo of a gent named Dave Genz ("Mr. Ice Fishing") proudly showing off his "nice bluegill." Wid was appalled at the effort expended (and equipment used) - all to brag about catching such a 'puny' fish.

Come to think of it, Mr. Genz, that bluegill does look small enough (and pretty enough) to rate an aquarium.

These boys, however, did them some fishing even it was via the boring, non-snowmobiling way.

FYI: The 7th annual Cadillac (Michigan) Ice Fishing contest will take place on Feb. 5. Details here - Walleye, Rock Bass, Pike, and, of course, Bluegill. Yo, Mr. Genz.

More wintertime events here.


A Beautiful Woman in the Prime of Life

One of the Examiner.com's Immigration Reformers - Dave Gibson - reports about the late Corrie Ann Damske (pictured), of Milwaukee, who lost her life in a DUI crash this past New Year's Day.

Writes Gibson, "The driver, Leopoldo Salas-Gayton, 41, had a blood alcohol level of .14, nearly twice the legal limit. According to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department, Salas-Gayton told investigators he did not even know he was driving on the interstate.

Court documents report that Salas-Gayton told deputies that he purchased a 12-pack of beer and drank it as he was driving. He admitted that he may have fallen asleep while driving.

He has also admitted that he has been in the country illegally for the last 13 years."

This article explains that the 34-year-old Corrie was a devoted mom to a little nine-year-old girl, Hayden.

A Beautiful Woman in the Prime of Life, II

Please read Jacqui's story here.


Commissioner He Is

I've blogged several times about my former Oklahoma neighbor, Mark Costello, who went from candidate to campaigner to contender.

Yesterday, on the steps of the State Capitol building, in Oklahoma City, he was sworn in as the Sooner State's newest labor commissioner.

Commissioner Costello will now oversee some 100 employees and an annual budget of about $7 million. He hopes to reform workers' compensation and modernize his department.

This is his first foray as an elected public official.

Not bad, kiddo!

Update: A message from the commissioner. A brief message, at that.


The Heroic John Green

The father of the late Christina-Taylor Green (who works for the Los Angeles Dodgers) offers a strong opinion about Saturday's Tucson tragedy, "This shouldn't happen in this country or anywhere else, but in a free society, we're going to be subject to people like this. So I prefer this to the alternative."

God bless this suffering man and his family.


Update: TTH plays the gender card.

They Distort, We Correct

An irresponsible headline regarding the shooting of Ms. Giffords, et. al. As the commentators are correctly noting, the rep. did, indeed, call for the presence of the National Guard on the southern border.

Sheriff Dupnik (pictured), leave our free speech alone!

Ms. Know-It-All journalist leave Arizona Second Amendment rights alone! Criminals are never, ever deterred no matter how tough the gun laws (or any laws are, for that matter) are.

(Unconstitutional) Homeland Security why are you using my tax dollars to monitor bogeymen? You are quite incompetent at it, anyway. 'Left-wing pothead' is how those who knew Loughner are describing him. One could add 'remedial left-wing pothead' given the level of math, he was enrolled in, at the community college.

What's with the skull shrine?

And shame on Fox News/Jennifer Griffin for their lame and, potentially, libelous reporting.

Update: Good commentary by Cliff.

'Nother Update: The WaPo clears the air about the DHS report.

Year of the Tigress

Amy Chua's paean to 'Chinese' mothers has drawn a rickshawload of negative comments.

I'm happy to join the fray. I don't care for how the American-born Chua uses (misuses?) her ethnic heritage to make a case for ruthless parenting practices in the name of art and academics. Some of her essay may, indeed, be tongue-in-cheek, but Amy (pictured) comes across as just another western-style stage mother; a hyper-ambitious and elitist one at that.

It'd be telling to see this feminist's reaction if one of her daughters decided her dream was to be, not a scientist or judge, but a laid-back, stay-at-home(schooling) suburban mom. Would Ms. Yale Law Professor be furious? Crushed? Overjoyed?


Sunday Inspiration II: The Real McLankford

The New York Times offers a story on Oklahoma's newest congresscritter - a former camp director. My husband, who is a decent judge of character and camp counselors, has met James Lankford (pictured), and says he seems like the real McCoy.

Heeeere's James: "' In 2008, I had a real sense of calling,' said Mr. Lankford, who later that year resigned from his job to campaign full time. 'We described it as an unsettling. It was almost like God was telling me, ‘Get ready. Get ready.’

After a prayer journey, he said, he decided, in consultation with his wife, Cindy, to run for the seat that opened in the Fifth Congressional District in Oklahoma when Representative Mary Fallin decided to seek the governorship.

That it actually happened still seems to amaze him. 'I’ve been drawn out by the people that live among me, who are just like me, in my district,' he said. 'People ask me what are they like there, and I tell them, the House floor looks and feels like America. I’ve run into car dealers, attorneys, a funeral home owner and a pizza operator. I know it’s right, but I can’t believe it’s me standing here. It’s a bit intimidating. When I put that card in there and I vote, I am representing 750,000 people who sent me here and entrusted me to do the right thing.'

Among the many just like him — new, cheerful, happy to be on the Budget Committee — Mr. Lankford stands out. He is a tall, thin man with a wire-brush shock of cherry-soda colored hair and a look of permanent seriousness. He pays attention to rote proceedings rather than tapping at his BlackBerry (TCC note: HURRAH!) or chatting with the guy next to him. He sat for the entire reading of the Constitution on the House floor — not just the few lines he was assigned to read aloud — and already knew that 'call the question was a preliminary procedural vote because, he said, 'As crazy as it sounds, I picked it up at church business meetings, because lots of churches use parliamentary procedures.' ”

Doesn't sound crazy at all. Please stay, humble and teachable, Congressman Lankford, and the force will be with you.

Yo, Yoda!

Sunday Inspiration: Freedom of Speech

The 2007 controversial Berkeley Breathed comic strip. Several of the (liberal) artist's newspaper clients refused to run it. But the Internet is all about the free-range of ideas, so the 'toon lives on.

Note: A blowup of the cartoon is here.

Another note: The First Amendment was recited by Gabrielle Giffords last week.


The Gold-to-Go Machine

Where else? Viva Las Vegas!

Insert your plastic, and obtain a coin or a bar.


And Now the Non-Stop Media Coverage

The Daily Mail has an article about Ed Fleury's involuntary manslaughter trial (which I blogged about here), and the video of little Christopher Bizilj accidentally shooting himself with a compact Uzi.

The nightmare just doesn't end for all these poor people in western Massachusetts.

Trial Update: Jury finds Ed Fleury innocent.

Jobs: Spin, Truth, or Both?

The U.S. Dept. of Labor/BLS releases Commissioner Keith Hall's statement about the unemployment rate's improvement - 9.4%. Go here.

Welcome news, yes. But a one month recovery - during the holidays - does not a turnaround make. Here's a dissident economist's take on those "payroll employment" stats.

Update: Speaking of dissident economists, Team Ron Paul is looking for one good young man or woman. More about the employment opportunity here.


Whither California?

Do read this excellent column - titled "Mascot Politics" - by Dr. Thomas Sowell (pictured).

In the piece, he discusses the salient (and scary!) points made by Dr. Victor Davis Hanson in "Two Californias."

Dr. Sowell notes: "While waiting in line at two supermarkets, Victor Davis Hanson realized in both places that he was the only one in line who was not paying with the plastic cards issued by welfare authorities to replace the old food stamps. He noted that these people living on the taxpayers were driving late-model cars and had iPhones, BlackBerries and other parts of what he calls "the technological veneer of the middle class."

Sadly — and, in the long run, tragically — this is not unique to California, or to illegal immigrants from Mexico, or even to the United States. It is a pattern to which the Western world has been slowly but steadily succumbing.

In France, for example, there are enclaves of Third World Muslims, living by their own rules and festering with resentments of the society that is content to let them vegetate on handouts from the welfare state.

The black ghettos of America, and especially their housing projects, are other enclaves of people largely abandoned to their own lawless and violent lives, their children warehoused in schools where they are allowed to run wild, with education being more or less optional."

All these parties, according to Doc Sowell, have been turned into mascots by the liberal elites who both indulge them and ignore them.

The Hanson column, referenced by Sowell (about how twenty years of illegal immigration has negatively transformed central California), is here.


Americana: The Loara Standish Sampler

The daughter of Captain Myles (or Miles?) Standish - Loara - was typical of the cultured gals of her day in that she knew how to produce a mean sampler.

The Pilgrim Hall Museum, in Plymouth, Mass, claims that Miss Standish's elaborate handiwork (pictured) is the "oldest documented sampler" in the United States, circa 1630s or 1640s. Here's a larger photo, of Loara's work, from the museum's collection of early American needlework, and it includes this catchy verse:

"Loara Standish is my name
Lord guide my heart that I may do thy will
Also fill my hands with such convenient skill
As may conduce to virtue void of shame
and I will give the glory to thy name."

That's a lovely sentiment (especially in the era of Lady Gaga, Desperate Housewives, Kardashians, etc.).

An ambitious sewer can reproduce it. Here's the kit . I enjoy doing counted cross-stitch but Loara's project is above my pay grade.

Montana: Workers' Comp for Illegals to End?

The Montana Watchdog reports that Rep. Gordon Vance (pictured), of Bozeman, is pushing for a law that "would state that if an employer knowingly or unknowingly hired an illegal alien and it was later proved by a preponderance of evidence that they were not in the country legally then that person could not collect workers’ compensation benefits."

More about the bill here. Rep. Vance has a solid reputation of being very careful with other people's money. He was rated #6 among the Big Sky state's forty most fiscally responsible lawmakers.